According to a new report by the Washington Post, first lady Melania Trump regularly used a private Trump Organization email account, an email from a MelaniaTrump.com domain, iMessage and the encrypted messaging app, Signal, while in the White House.
In the report, The Post cites Mrs. Trump’s former senior adviser and confidant Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who says she corresponded multiple times a day with the first lady. “Melania and I both didn’t use White House emails.”
Winston Wolkoff’s revelation came during an interview with The Washington Post published Tuesday evening after the publication of her tell-all memoir, “Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady.”
The Post has obtained and reviewed messages dated after the inauguration that appear to be from private email and messaging accounts used by Melania Trump.
“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, key parts of which Winston Wolkoff, an experienced New York City events producer, planned.”
As noted by The Post, “Members of the Trump administration have already faced scrutiny for using private email. The House Oversight Committee last year began looking into the use of private accounts for government business by Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also has used private email to conduct government business. Donald Trump spent much of the 2016 election cycle drawing attention to the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state, calling it “worse than Watergate.”
A first lady is not a government employee, said Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, but “if she is doing United States government business, she should be using the White House email.”
“It’s total hypocrisy,” said Painter. “They got elected acting as if Hillary Clinton ought to be in jail for using the wrong email.”
“Melania Trump’s email habits have not been previously reported and are not described in Winston Wolkoff’s book,” according to The Post. She told the newspaper she left it out of the book “because she just had so much to write about and was concentrating on telling the story of her personal interactions with the first lady and others in the White House.”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the report.
You can read more at The Washington Post.