Published: Thu, January 26, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump Staffers Are Reportedly Using Private Email Accounts

Trump Staffers Are Reportedly Using Private Email Accounts

On the surface, the only reason the use of this email server seems remotely scandalous is because Republicans, and Trump in particular, condemned Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email setup to conduct government business during her tenure as secretary of state.

Trump repeatedly attacked 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonClinton after Women's March: We must keep fighting Trump White House senior staff have private email accounts: report Bannon was registered to vote in two states: report MORE previous year for using a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State.

According to the report, senior staffers Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon all have "active accounts" on the service, which is not under the government's purview.

Newsweek also notes that the RNC account that Trump staffers apparently are using was hacked, according to USA intelligence agencies, during the 2016 campaign. SMTP is the bridge between mail servers.

In short, this news carries a lot of "ifs"-if Trump staffers are still using the accounts, and if they fail to disclose them and transfer applicable emails to government servers, or if they use the email addresses to share classified material, then this might be more than a story about irony and bad optics".

The administration under President George W. Bush was accused of using the same RNC servers to evade transparency.

Officials at the Obama White House also held unofficial DNC email addresses, a former Obama staffer confirmed.

Former President Obama's administration found the lost emails after private lawsuits were filed, it added.

Other government officials have gotten into trouble when using private email accounts if they use the accounts to discuss government business.

The Airnet Group, a Chattanooga firm located on Broad Street, is cited by Newsweek as the company hosting the email accounts for the RNC. Intelligence officials have said the RNC's old email servers were hacked during the election, although no information was ever released.

The use of private email servers for official White House business entails the danger of violating the 1939 Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees from conducting some forms of political activity. Let's just hope the Russians are done with that fun now that their buddy Donald is in the White House.

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