6 similarities between Ivanka Trump and Hillary Clinton's email excuses

The incredible thing is not so much that ...

Posted: Nov 20, 2018 5:53 PM
Updated: Nov 20, 2018 5:53 PM

The incredible thing is not so much that Ivanka Trump used a personal email address for public business; it's that she did it after her father and boss, President Donald Trump, along with other Republicans, hammered Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton so mercilessly and incessantly on that issue in 2016, even promising to "lock her up" for that and other alleged misdeeds.

If that simple fact is not enough to drop your jaw, take a look at the explanation given on Ivanka Trump's behalf and compare it to the explanations Clinton offered in her defense.


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Many of the excuses offered on behalf of Ivanka Trump in a four-paragraph statement are, essentially, the same as those offered by Clinton.

Here are Clinton's excuses, offered at a news conference in March 2015, and Ivanka Trump's, offered by Peter Mirijanian, spokesman for her attorney Abbe Lowell, who we'll refer to below as Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman.

The emails were still captured, as required by law


"The vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately on the system at the State Department."

Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman:

"... no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules."

None of this was classified


"I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material."

*An inspector general later determined there was some classified material, but it was not marked as classified when Clinton emailed it.

Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman:

"... there was never classified information transmitted..."

A lot of this stuff is about weddings and yoga, logistics and scheduling

Clinton, while explaining why thousands of emails were deleted, something we are told Ivanka Trump did not do:

"I chose not to keep my private personal emails — emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes."

Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman:

"Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family."

Their lawyers decided which emails were personal and which were for business


"We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department. At the end, I chose not to keep my private personal emails."

Washington Post report on Ivanka Trump:

"After discovering the extent of her email use in September 2017, White House lawyers relied on Lowell, Ivanka Trump's attorney, to help review her personal emails to determine which were personal and which were official business, according to the (sources)."

Both did things other people do


"I saw it as a matter of convenience, and it was allowed. Others had done it. According to the State Department, which recently said Secretary (John) Kerry was the first secretary of state to rely primarily on a state.gov email account."

Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman:

"Like most people, before entering into government service, Ms. Trump used a private email."

Both immediately responded to requests


"The State Department sent a letter to former secretaries of state, not just to me, asking for some assistance in providing any work-related emails that might be on the personal email. And what I did was to direct, you know, my counsel to conduct a thorough investigation and to err on the side of providing anything that could be connected to work. They did that, and that was my obligation. I fully fulfilled it, and then I took the unprecedented step of saying, 'Go ahead and release them, and let people see them.'"

Ivanka's lawyer's spokesman:

"When concerns were raised in the press 14 months ago, Ms. Trump reviewed and verified her email use with White House Counsel and explained the issue to congressional leaders."

Now, clearly there are differences. Clinton did not use government email at all as secretary of state, whereas Trump, according to The Washington Post and her attorneys, has.

Clinton stored her emails in a private server housed in her house. Trump's are stored by Microsoft.

Clinton had to explain why thousands of her emails were deleted. All of Trump's, we are told, have been preserved.

Whereas Clinton long argued she was following the State Department rules as she understood them, Trump appears, somehow, not to have known the White House rules and claims to have changed her ways, for the most part, after learning them.

But the similarities in the excuses make the fact of Ivanka Trump's email problem all the more incredible after her family's history of complaining about Clinton's.

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