President Donald Trump's son-in-law, White House special adviser Jared Kushner, has been using a private email server in tandem with his own official government account since entering the Oval Office. There is no evidence that Kushner shared sensitive government materials on his private server, but his decision to use one recalls the controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email use.
On Sept. 24, four individuals familiar with Kushner's email disclosed that the special adviser had established a private family account for his online correspondence during the White House presidential transition in December 2016, Politico reports.
Kushner used the private account to correspond with several senior White House officials, such as former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn. The special adviser reportedly used the private server primarily for personal communications, but had received or sent messages on the account that pertained to Trump administration matters.
Abbe Lowell, Kushner's attorney, released an official statement clarifying Kushner's email practices.
"Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business," Lowell said. "Fewer than 100 emails from January through August were either sent to or returned by Mr. Kushner to colleagues in the White House from his personal email account.
"These usually forwarded news articles or political commentary and most often occurred when someone initiated the exchange by sending an email to his personal rather than his White House address," Kushner added.
Kushner has been tasked with some of the most sensitive policy priorities of the Trump administration. His portfolio includes brokering peace in the Middle East, facilitating communications between the U.S. and China and Mexico, restructuring government and criminal justice reform, according to CNN.
During the 2016 presidential race, Trump frequently blasted Clinton for her use of a private email account while serving at the State Department. Clinton had used both an official government and private email, similar to Kushner. A federal probe into the matter concluded with no charges recommended against the former Secretary of State.
Trump rallies were still often punctuated with attendees calling for Clinton to be incarcerated for her private email server. On Jan. 27, a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling found that 42 percent of self-identified Trump voters believed that Trump should be allowed to use a private email account after he assumed the presidency while 39 percent said he should not, according to New York Daily News.