Tags: US | White House | Private Email

Cummings: Ivanka Trump Not Preserving All Official Email

Cummings: Ivanka Trump Not Preserving All Official Email
(AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:56 PM

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a powerful White House aide, is not preserving all of her official email communications as required by federal law, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Thursday.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a letter that Trump's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, informed the committee late last year that Trump doesn't preserve official emails she receives in her personal account if she doesn't respond to them. Cummings says that appears to violate the Presidential Records Act.

The letter raises the latest concern about the use of private email and messaging applications to conduct official White House business. It also details the use of the messaging application WhatsApp by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and of personal email accounts by other former senior White House aides that Cummings says "raises additional security and federal records concerns."

The letter says Lowell confirmed that Kushner, Ivanka Trump's husband and a senior White House aide, uses the WhatsApp to conduct official U.S. government business. According to the letter, Lowell said Kushner has used the application to have "communications with people outside the United States," though he did not provide the identities of those involved.

Lowell would not tell the committee whether Kushner had ever used WhatsApp to discuss classified information. When asked, Lowell said, "That's above my pay grade," and referred questions to the White House and the National Security Council, according to Cummings' letter.

Lowell said Kushner archives the messages he sends by taking screenshots of them and forwarding that record to his official White House email account or the National Security Council.

The White House, Lowell and representatives for Trump and Kushner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The scrutiny of the couple's communications by the House committee comes after news reports revealed the use of private email accounts and messaging applications as part of their government jobs.

CNN reported last year that Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman using WhatsApp. The Washington Post has reported that Trump sent hundreds of emails about government business from a personal email account to White House aides, Cabinet members and her assistant. The newspaper said many of those communications violated federal public records rules.

In a previous written statement, Lowell spokesman Peter Mirijanian has acknowledged that Ivanka Trump used private email while transitioning to a position in the White House but said that the emails were retained "in conformity with records preservation laws and rules."

He also noted that "there was never classified information transmitted" using her private email account.

In an interview with ABC News last year, Ivanka Trump defended her use of a private email account, saying: "All of my emails are stored and preserved. There were no deletions."

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Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a powerful White House aide, is not preserving all of her official email communications as required by federal law, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Thursday.
US, White House, Private Email
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2019-56-21
Thursday, 21 March 2019 01:56 PM
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