White House Reiterates Email Policy After News Of Officials Using Private Accounts

September 26, 2017

News that at least six current or former senior members of the Trump administration have used private email accounts as they conduct official business has prompted the White House to clarify its policy.

“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government-related work,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.”

Private email use by public officials was a hot topic in the 2016 presidential race — and one that then-candidate Donald Trump used to accuse rival Hillary Clinton of breaking federal laws after she used private email to handle official business as secretary of state.

The New York Times reports that at least six current or former high-profile members of Trump’s administration have “occasionally used private email addresses to discuss White House matters.”

NPR’s Tamara Keith reports for our Newscast unit:

“The Times is reporting that former top aides Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon are among those who sometimes used private email accounts for official business. The lawyer for Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner confirmed to NPR that Kushner sent fewer than a hundred work-related emails from his private account and has forwarded them all to the official account.”

In past administrations, the use of private email accounts by senior government officials has posed challenges to record-keeping and archiving activities. That is also true for the current administration — which is also under additional scrutiny as the Justice Department seeks documents and records as part of its investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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