By Audrey Bernstein ’20

Advisors to President Donald Trump have used private email servers to communicate after the President was elected, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, were among the six members who used private servers. The Freedom of Information Act released documents on Monday that revealed Ivanka Trump’s correspondence with Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon.

Ivanka Trump wrote under the name “Ivanka Kushner” rather than the name in which she typically identifies herself. In the email, she expressed her hopes to “explore opportunities to collaborate” with McMahon, who was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Education in 2009.

“I think it’s obviously very hypocritical,” social studies teacher Cathy Schager said. “I personally don’t really understand that mistake, because it was one of the main points of [Trump’s] campaign — that Hillary had used private servers and it was terrible.”

Ivanka Trump was not employed by the government at the time, according to a White House spokesman. “She elected to become a federal employee in March […]. At the time she did so, she made clear that one of her reasons for doing so was to ensure that she would have access to government-issued communications devices,” the spokesman said.

Despite her unofficial employment, she was involved in “high-level meetings,” according to Newsweek.

Jared Kushner also contacted officials under the private domain to discuss government matters. Former chief strategist Steve Bannon and former chief of staff Reince Priebus used similar interfaces. Current government employees Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller also used private servers, according to the Atlantic.

“I think that it’s completely unjustified and not acceptable by any means,” Zoe Julien ’20 said.

Schager argues that the event’s long term effect will not be as impactful. “I firmly believe that nothing is going to come of this,” she said, “but I also think that it is kind of sad and weird, because that’s how we see that personality politics have gotten way too important in our country.”

 

Graphic by Jordi Katz ’20

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