Trump speaks out over reports that Ivanka used private email account for government business
Just a couple of years after Donald Trump was leading chants of "lock her up" when Hillary Clinton was found to be using a personal email account in her official position, his own daughter, Ivanka, has been caught doing just the same.
According to a report released by the Washington Post at the start of this week, "Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence."
Though she has not used the account recently, Ivanka sent emails from her personal address "throughout much of 2017" - a violation of her position as a government official.
Now, amidst the controversy, the president has spoken out in his daughter's defence.
"Just so you understand, early and for a little period of time, Ivanka did some emails," Trump told reporters at the White House yesterday. "They weren't classified like Hillary Clinton. They weren't deleted like Hillary Clinton. She wasn't doing that to hide her emails."
But Trump failed to acknowledge that the Presidential Records Act requires all official White House communications and records be preserved - and that can't be done if a staff member is using a private email server. But Trump insists that his daughter did nothing wrong.
"The Presidential Record, they're all in the Presidential Record," Trump said. "There was no hiding."
When he was prompted about the Clinton issue further, he doubled down on his stance, and flipped the conversation to talk about the former presidential candidate.
"You're talking about a whole different - you're talking about all fake news," he went on. "There was no deletion, there was no nothing. Hillary Clinton deleted 33,000 emails. She had a server in the basement. That's the real story."
The emails deleted by Clinton were investigated and all found to be personal in nature.
Ivanka's legal team has said that the advisor to the president "almost always" used her personal email to discuss issues related to her family, however, which means that she has done exactly the same (or perhaps worse) than Clinton. In light of this, Trump's defence of her is entirely hypocritical.
"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," said Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump’s attorney and ethics counsel, Abbe Lowell.
Perhaps most astoundingly of all, the excuse that Ivanka's team have provided for her actions is that she didn't know the rules about using a personal email - which seems strange considering that her father's presidential campaign poured an enormous amount of effort into exposing Clinton for her behaviour.
It is unclear whether or not Ivanka Trump will face disciplinary action for her conduct.