Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has communicated with other administration officials about White House matters via a private email account set up during the transition in December 2016, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides utilizing personal email accounts for government business.
Kushner uses his own private account alongside his official White House email account, occasionally trading emails with senior White House officials, outside advisers and some others about media coverage, event planning and other subjects, according to four people who are familiar with the correspondence. POLITICO has seen and verified about 25 emails.
“Mr. Kushner uses his White House email address to conduct White House business,” Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for Kushner, stated on Sunday. “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.”
Aides who emailed with Kushner on his private account since President Donald Trump became president in January include former chief of staff Reince Priebus, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, and spokesman Josh Raffel, according to emails described or shown to POLITICO. In some instances, those White House officials have emailed Kushner’s account first, said some of the people familiar with the messages. At times, Bannon and Priebus have also utilized private email accounts to communicate with Kushner and others.
Kushner has been scrutinized in the ongoing Russia probes, which have expanded to include potential obstruction of justice by both the president and his aides since January, and Kushner’s private email traffic might also be of interest to FBI and congressional investigators.
The usage of personal email accounts in the Trump White House has been fairly common, even though the president has been a vocal critic of Clinton’s private email habits, frequently leading “lock her up” chants as he went across the country on the campaign trail.
“It was an incredibly effective attack,” said Evan Siegfried, a GOP consultant. “He did a great job of injecting the emails into the mainstream.”