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Return of the email scandal

Chase Isbell

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The New York Times recently released an article discussing government officials’ use of private email servers. No, I am not referring to Hillary Clinton and her time as secretary of state.

Instead, in truly the most ironic fashion possible, the newspaper has unveiled a second email scandal, one surrounding President Trump and his administration. And we’re not talking about just one private email, for that matter. A total of six White House officials are believed to have used private email accounts to discuss government information—topics only appropriate for a secure government server. Among those involved are Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.

Why do I choose to bring up the email usage of these Trump administration officials?

Of course, there is the initial criticism that using private email accounts to share government information increases the risk of said information becoming compromised, but this is not the first time the practice has been in use. In fact, the use of private email servers by government officials is more common than one might think, and rarely is the practice illegal.

From as far back as George W. Bush’s time in office, government officials have been chastised for choosing to use private emails accounts to share government information. So it is not the presence of private email servers in the realm of government business that surprises me or many other Americans.

Instead, it is the hypocrisy and twisted hilarity that the Trump administration has participated in such actions, the very same actions that it had previously claimed made Clinton unfit for the office of the presidency.

So I ask the people of America, where is your outrage? Where are the slogans and misogynistic comments? Where are the rallies? Is it not time to break out the “lock her up” bumper stickers? Is no one selling “Bannon for Prison” t-shirts?

After all, if the news that Clinton used a private email server could engender so much fervor in the hearts of the American people, shouldn’t it do the same when Trump and his team are hitting the send button?

This new scandal reveals a great number of things about Trump and his team. First, it shows that their criticisms of Clinton were illegitimate and merely a political move to delegitimize her candidacy and her campaign. This, in turn, leaves me wondering what other claims during his campaign were merely political fluff.

On top of this, Trump is currently under investigation for potential collusion with Russia, and the use of private emails has greatly complicated the process of gathering information for the investigation. Ironically enough, Trump openly criticized Clinton for hiding incriminating information on her private email server. Though, might I add, Clinton made it through two investigations without any charges brought upon her. Trump has yet to do so.

Lastly, this revelation exposes the harsh truth that many Trump supporters are either incredibly hypocritical or perhaps just misinformed. As I have mentioned above, there has been hardly any negative reaction from the general public about the Trump email scandal, yet Clinton lost countless voters due to a nearly identical situation.

What makes Trump supporters choose to only criticize Clinton for her actions?

Perhaps the public has not responded negatively to Trump because politicians have yet to politically capitalize on his blunder. Currently, there is no Trump-like figure using the White House’s email scandal to propel their own political career, leaving it mostly unnoticed and out of media cycles.

Either way, this should reveal the hypocritical nature of our current president and his team and leave them untrustworthy in the eyes of the American people.

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The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University
Return of the email scandal