The Slatest

Ivanka Trump Used Personal Email Account to Conduct Official White House Business

Ivanka and Melania Trump look at a smart phone after the Republican Presidential debate in Charleston, South Carolina on Jan. 14, 2016.
Ivanka and Melania Trump totally not sending official emails from their personal accounts.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty Images

Despite the existence of the entire year of 2016, Ivanka Trump—just months later!—used her private email to conduct official White House business, the Washington Post reported Monday. President Trump’s daughter had used her personal email during the Trump transition, where she played an informal role, but on March 30, 2017, she took an official, albeit unpaid role as a senior adviser in the Trump administration, making her subject to White House records rules. Throughout her father’s first year in office, Ivanka either discussed or forwarded White House business to her private email account with a “ijkfamily.com” domain name that was set up by Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. The disclosure of Trump’s email usage came to light courtesy of a public records request from the liberal watchdog group American Oversight.

Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails from her personal account to White House aides and Cabinet officials over the course of the year. The Washington Post reports that less than 100 of those emails contained discussion of government policies and official White House business, while hundreds more were regarding White House scheduling and logistics, considered a lesser violation of federal records rules. “Some aides were startled by the volume of Ivanka Trump’s personal emails—and taken aback by her response when questioned about the practice. Trump said she was not familiar with some details of the rules, according to people with knowledge of her reaction,” the Post reports. “The discovery alarmed some advisers to President Trump, who feared that his daughter’s practices bore similarities to the personal email use of Hillary Clinton, an issue he made a focus of his 2016 campaign.”

Trump’s lawyers stressed that Ivanka’s email usage was distinct from Hillary Clinton’s email practice, which hounded her throughout the 2016 campaign, thanks, in part, to Donald Trump’s baying during the campaign about “Crooked Hillary” to his supporters’ chants of “lock her up.” Ivanka’s lawyers said there was no discussion of classified information on her private email and that Trump and Kushner did not have a private server, instead relying on Microsoft servers to host the email domain and the Trump Organization to prescreen for viruses and malware. Of course, that’s what Hillary Clinton said about her classified emails too when first asked about her handling of emails while Secretary of State.

Ivanka’s lawyers downplayed the extent of her private email usage, saying she changed her behavior once informed about federal records requirements, “[b]ut Trump had used her personal email for official business far more frequently than known, according to people familiar with the administration’s review—a fact that remained a closely held secret inside the White House,” according to the Post. “She was the worst offender in the White House,” a former senior U.S. government official said.