President Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law and official White House adviser, Jared Kushner, utilized a private email server — set up after the election — to conduct White House business, according to a new report in Politico.
Kushner utilized the private account in tandem with his official White House email account to correspond with current and former senior White House officials, outside advisers and others, about subjects ranging from media coverage to event planning.
Politico said it has verified at least two dozen emails coming from the private account.
A lawyer for Kushner, Abbe Lowell, who was recently added to Kushner’s legal team, issued the following statement in response to the Politico report. We’ve reached out to Lowell’s office for comment.
“Mr. Kushner use his White House email address to conduct White House business. Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account. These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address.”
Current and former aides who sent emails to Kushner on his private account since the President took office include former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, top economic consultant Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel, according to the Politico report.
The decision to use private accounts in office is at odds with the repeated criticism that Donald Trump and his surrogates heaped upon his adversary, Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton, during the Presidential campaign.
Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State was one of the central criticisms Trump used in his run for office — and was, in fact, the subject of an FBI investigation.
The use of private email is common among members of the Trump administration, Politico reported. And members of the President’s staff have use encrypted messaging services like Signal and Confide, which delete messages after they are read, prompting a reprimand by the then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer that messaging utilizing those services likely violated the Presidential Records Act.
Whether the use of the private server for emails is illegal or not, the correspondence will likely be of interest to the ongoing investigations into the last election.