President Donald Trump defended his daughter’s use of a personal email to conduct private business on hundreds of occasions in the early days of the administration, saying Tuesday her conduct pails in comparison to that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“Ivanka Trump did some e-mails, they were not classified like Hillary Clinton. They were not deleted like Hillary Clinton,” Trump said before taking off for his Thanksgiving vacation. “I looked at it briefly today and they’re all in the presidential record, they are all in presidential records, there was no hiding. There was no deleting like Hillary Clinton did. There were no servers in the basement, like Hillary Clinton had. You’re talking about a whole different situation.”
Ivanka turned over her private emails to the White House counsel’s office after ethics officers noticed the private email use. The emails were reviewed by her attorney who noted in a lengthy statement that she did not understand the rules governing private email use during the beginning of her tenure in the administration.
“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,” her lawyer said.
Ivanka’s lawyer also stressed the same point in a lengthy statement Tuesday saying, “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.”
— JimMacKayOnAir (@JimMacKayOnAir) November 20, 2018
Ivanka’s use of a private email to conduct some government business was first reported in September 2017 by The New York Times, which noted that other officials have reportedly used private email in the early months of the administration, including Steve Bannon, Gary Cohn, Stephen Miller, Jared Kushner, and Reince Priebus. Private email use is prohibited for official U.S. government actions because they are not able to be preserved for record-keeping and ethics purposes.
Ivanka’s representatives alleged earlier Tuesday that on several occasions Ivanka was contacted first by U.S. government representatives on her private email, prompting her to reply. Her use of a private email to conduct some government business was immediately seized upon by Democratic lawmakers who noted Trump’s frequent criticism of Clinton’s private email use during the 2016 presidential campaign.