The Trump administration’s habitual hypocrisy reached a new level on Monday evening when The New York Times reported that at least six White House officials have used personal email accounts to conduct official government business. Jared Kushner’s use of a private email as a senior adviser to Trump was first reported by Politico on Sunday, after which a cascade of reports revealed that Ivanka Trump and other White House staffers also used private emails to communicate.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus both reportedly sent and received emails on personal accounts while working for the Trump administration. The Times also reported that current advisers Gary D. Cohn and Stephen Miller have communicated via personal email accounts, though it’s unclear how often.
White House officials “acknowledged” that all six occasionally used a personal account. While Cohn, Bannon, Priebus, and Miller apparently used Gmail accounts, Kushner set up a private domain, IJKFamily.com, through GoDaddy.com to host his family’s server.
Before The Times report was published on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders described the use of personal emails as “very limited” and insisted that work-related emails would be forwarded from their personal accounts to their government emails, as is required by the Presidential Records Act.
“All White House personnel have been instructed to use official email to conduct all government related work,” said Sanders. “They are further instructed that if they receive work-related communication on personal accounts, they should be forwarded to official email accounts.”
How limited their personal email communication truly is (or was, assuming the practice is no longer) remains unclear. But the hypocrisy of White House officials using personal emails after Trump raged over Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private server as Secretary of State throughout the campaign is uniquely transparent. Even as president, Trump publicly harangued Attorney General Jeff Sessions for declining to reinvestigate Clinton’s use of a private email server and yet here we are, with six staff members happily trading emails over nongovernment accounts. Do as I say, and not as I do? Right?