Lock Them Up: The Trump Administration’s Email Double Standard

As first reported by the New York Times, four current and two former White House officials have been using private email accounts to discuss government business — further proving the severity of the hypocrisy demonstrated by the Trump Administration.

Just one day before the publication of the Times’ article, Politico revealed that Jared Kushner, advisor and son-in-law of the president, had used his personal email to send around one hundred emails during the first seven months of his work in the White House. The New York Times article named the five other officials who inappropriately used their personal email accounts: Stephen Miller, Gary Cohn, Reince Priebus, Ivanka Trump ʼ00, and Steve Bannon. Miller serves as a presidential advisor and speechwriter, Cohn is a director of the National Economic Council, and Ivanka Trump is one of Trump’s advisors as well as his daughter. Priebus no longer works at the White House, but he was Chief of Staff to Trump. Steve Bannon, former chief strategist, also doesn’t work for Trump anymore; instead, he has returned to his position as executive chairman of the alt-right, white supremacist “news site” Breitbart News.

As many can recall, one of the most, if not the most, influential reason for Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 election was her use of a personal email server to communicate sensitive information while Secretary of State. However, the degree to which Secretary Clinton used her personal email is more extreme than the Trump Administration’s use, as far as we know. Clinton sent approximately 30,000 work-related emails on the personal server, including intel on the 2012 attack on U.S. government facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Conversely, the current White House emails have been labeled as “sporadic” by the Administration. While the information transmitted in these emails isn’t yet known, the number sent by Jared Kushner seems to indicate that it is not as dire as those sent by Secretary Clinton.

But while there is a distinct difference between the two cases of personal email use, it is still extremely alarming that the White House is engaging in this inappropriate behavior. Donald Trump spent the vast majority of his campaign blabbing about “crooked Hillary Clinton” because of her use of a personal email server. And yet, his government officials are doing the same thing. In other words, he is yet again exhibiting overwhelmingly hypocritical behavior. Not only did he criticize and antagonize Clinton over and over again about the emails, but he also promised to “drain the swamp.” He swore to eliminate corruption in the White House; however, he went on to hire people like Steve Bannon, a white nationalist. Moreover, he hired Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, purely based on their familial relation to him. And he hired the other three people who engaged in inappropriate use of personal email accounts. This makes him a hypocrite and a liar. But we already knew this.

What might be most unfortunate about this whole situation is that this story is not and will not be highly publicized. It will not be used as a basis for hatred as it was for Hillary Clinton. The same Trump supporters who constantly bashed Clinton for her use of the servers will not do the same to Trump or the hypocrites working for him. It will also not be used as a point of contention in an upcoming election in the same way that Secretary Clinton’s misuse was. But just like she faced repercussions and an investigation, those six government officials should also be scrutinized and evaluated so as to determine what information they sent using private email accounts and their future statuses at the White House.

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