Top members of President Donald Trump’s White House staff have active email accounts on a Republican National Committee email server, according to a Newsweek report out Wednesday.
The publication reported that key Trump advisors Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner and Sean Spicer have active email accounts through rnchq.org. The source of that information was unclear.
It’s not illegal to have secondary email accounts for non-White House work, and indeed performing non-White House work on government email addresses violates the Hatch Act. Official email exchanges on private accounts are subject to disclosure law and must be forwarded for proper record-keeping, however.
The Newsweek report noted that George W. Bush’s administration was accused of using the same RNC server to hide around 22 million emails from public scrutiny, many from the lead-up to the Iraq War.
During the campaign, Trump had criticized his opponent Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server, which he said was a deliberate attempt to hide “pay to play” deals from public scrutiny. He also said at campaign rallies that the server put American lives in danger due to the risk of sophisticated foreign hackers.
FBI Director James Comey testified to the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month that Russian hackers used similar hacking techniques to target both the RNC and the Democratic National Committee, though he said they “got far deeper and wider” into private DNC systems.
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