US President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has been caught using her personal email to handle government affairs, a controversial revelation that is already getting compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server.
The Washington Post revealed Monday that Ivanka, who is also a senior White House adviser, had violated federal records rules last year by sending emails to government officials via her personal email account.
The report accused Trump of sending hundreds of emails to administration staff, Cabinet officials and her own aides discussing White House affairs as well as her official schedule.
The apparent breach of rules was first discovered by White House ethics officials, who were reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies in response to a public records lawsuit.
The official review of the emails concluded that Ivanka had discussed in detail her White House business while using a private email account, the Post said.
The revelation immediately led the administration’s opponents to draw parallels to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as secretary of State.
The email scandal haunted the former first lady for a long time and prompted a long-running FBI investigation that, although exonerated her from all criminal charges, ended up costing her the presidential face-off with Donald Trump.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who has fallen out of favor with Trump, decided to reopen an investigation into Clinton’s case just a week before Election Day, what many including Clinton herself have described as a turning point in the race.
Trump went on to repeatedly use Clinton’s email scandal as an attack line, giving his opponent the nickname “Crooked Hillary.” His supporters also chanted "Lock her up" in reference to Hillary’s email case among other suspected criminal acts she had committed.
Ivanka reacted to the revelation claiming she was not entirely familiar with the records rules, sources familiar with the matter told The Post.
Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Trump’s attorney and ethics counsel Abbe Lowell, told the Post that Ivanka used her private email while she had yet to be briefed about the records rules.
“While transitioning into government, after she was given an official account but until the White House provided her the same guidance they had given others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her personal account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family,” Mirijanian said in a statement.
He added Ivanka Trump’s personal email use differed from Clinton’s.
“Ms. Trump did not create a private server in her house or office, no classified information was ever included, the account was never transferred at Trump Organization, and no emails were ever deleted,” Mirijanian said.
The Post notes that Trump used her personal account to discuss government policies and official business fewer than 100 times, often replying to other administration officials who contacted her through her private email, according to people familiar with the review.
This is while Clinton discussed serious issues in thousands of emails and only returned 33,000 emails to investigators. She reportedly deleted another 30,000.