Melania Trump reportedly used private email, messaging apps from White House


President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump during the Republican National Convention on the South Lawn of the White House. 

Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First Lady Melania Trump reportedly used private email accounts and messaging apps on a regular basis while in the the White House to discuss things including government hires, presidential inauguration finances and detailed schedules of state visits. 

The first lady, who isn’t a government employee, used a Trump Organization email account, an email from a domain, iMessage and encrypted messaging app Signal, according to a report Tuesday from The Washington Post, which said it viewed emails and messages dated after the inauguration provided by former senior advisor Stephanie Winston Wolkoff. The messages “contained discussions of government hires and contracts (including Winston Wolkoff’s), detailed schedules for the president and first lady during the Israeli and Japanese state visits, strategic partnerships for the first lady’s Be Best initiative, the logistics of the Easter egg roll and finances for the presidential inauguration,” according to the Post. 

During the 2016 US presidential election, the Trump campaign attacked Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers while she served as secretary of state, with then Republican nominee Donald Trump saying it was “like Watergate, only it’s worse.” An FBI investigation described Clinton’s use of private email, including to handle classified information, as “extremely careless” but recommended against any charges.

The use of personal accounts is allowed under the Presidential Records Act, according to the Post, but considered problematic. If records aren’t carefully maintained, they may be difficult turn over in response to a subpoena. 

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment but has called Wolkoff’s recently released book Melania and Me “not truthful.” (Editors’ note: The book’s publisher is Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CNET parent company ViacomCBS.)

“This book is not only wildly self-aggrandizing, it’s just not truthful,” Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s chief of staff and spokesperson, said in a statement to Politico. “It is an exercise in bizarre twisting of the truth and misguided blame for the sake of self-pity. It’s unfortunate and concerning that she’s overstated their friendship and her very brief role in the White House to this degree.”

Melania Trump’s email habits are not detailed in Wolkoff’s book, according to the Post. 

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