Lock Him Up: Trump’s White House Is Using a Private Email Server

Newsweek has learned that senior staffers in the Trump administration are using a private RNC email server. This is the same private email server used by the Bush administration that claimed it lost 22 million emails.

“Senior Trump administration staffers including Kellyanne Conway, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer and Steve Bannon have active accounts on a Republican National Committee email system,” Newsweek reported Wednesday.

Newsweek noted dryly “… after then-candidate Donald Trump and the Republicans repeatedly called for ‘locking up’ Hillary Clinton for handling government work with a private server while secretary of state, the new White House staff risks repeating the same mistake that dogged the Democrat’s presidential campaign. They also face a security challenge: The RNC email system, according to U.S. intelligence, was hacked during the 2016 race. ‘They better be careful after making such a huge ruckus over the private email over at the State Department,’ says former Bush administration lawyer Richard Painter.”

Well yes, that’s awkward. But here’s betting you won’t see the media getting hysterical over the Trump administration’s use of a private email server.

Of course, it has yet to be proven that they are using the private server to hide from transparency records. All emails on the private server that have to do with government business are supposed to be forwarded to the government email address so they can be archived properly.

Newsweek reports that some Obama staffers had DNC email addresses, but they say they were told by White House counsel that all work related emails had to be forwarded to the government email system.

The email conspiracy that Republicans have been using against Hillary Clinton for years now is simply so disingenuous there aren’t words to capture the hypocrisy. As a flashback to the Bush email controversies:

The Bush White House was the Republican founding father of private email systems. In order to avoid public accountability the Bush administration used a private email network on RNC servers. The Bush administration also lost 22 million emails. They just so happened to lose the emails from the architects of Bush’s torture policy. Within those 22 million lost emails were five million emails that were lost relating to the 2007 firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. The Bush administration denied for years that any emails were lost, but as part of settling a lawsuit, eventually admitted that twenty-two million emails had been lost. The Obama administration tried to clean up the Bush mess, but was only able to restore 61 days worth of emails.

The Bush emails they could recover were turned over to the national archives but were not released to the public for national security reasons.

The Newsweek article quoted a former Obama administration lawyer, “One reason we were successful in avoiding scandals is that we got people to think, if I stumble on these rules, it lessens public trust in the government. We created a culture so they called [White lawyers] for guidance all the time.”

That is a huge difference in ideological approaches, perhaps. Democrats believe government can and should serve the public and can do good things for the people, and many of them try to earn the public’s trust. Certainly the Obama administration did much to win the public’s trust, deservedly so.

After a Trump adviser repeated advocated that Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason over her private email server during the campaign, the Trump administration is now using a private server. The hypocrisy should be stunning, but no one will care.

The answer to why no one will care is the question of this last election.

Republican New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro said his comments “were in accordance with U.S. law establishing the death penalty for treason. He suggested that Clinton’s use of a private email server could be considered treasonous,” Mass Live reported. Trump praised Baldasaro after he made these comments, so it seemed he not only didn’t want to distance himself, but agreed. He refused to say he condoned the comments, but he continued to praise Baldasaro even after the comment was read back to him during an interview.

So Clinton should be shot for using a private email server, but it’s okay for the Trump administration.