Although a man in his position should be more careful, Defense Secretary Ash Carter used a personal email account to conduct some official government business, leading the Senate Armed Services Committee to conduct an investigation, says The Washington Post.
The U.S. daily The New York Times revealed Wednesday night that though he was assigned a government email account in February when taking office as the Pentagon chief, Carter used his personal email account to conduct part of official business during his first several months at the Pentagon.
The Times quoted the defense officials as saying that Carter, who took office in February, continued to use his personal email account, in violation of DOD rules, for at least two months after it was publicly disclosed in March that Hillary Clinton had only used her personal email account as Secretary of State. It said that the defense secretary uses email sparingly, preferring phone or personal conversations.
“And all of this is preserved as a public record as it should be”, Carter said.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been under fire for using a personal email server for years during her tenure.
It is uncertain when Carter stopped using his personal email account and it remains unclear how many emails Carter sent and received from that account.
Carter’s use of a personal email account for official business could have serious national security implications because such accounts don’t have the same level of security and detection as enterprise email accounts, Harvey added.
“What I did, which I shouldn’t be doing, until a few months ago, was to occasionally use my iPhone to send some administrative messages to my immediate staff. But even that I shouldn’t be doing”, Carter told CBS.
Both Carter and Clinton have said they have not put sensitive information in jeopardy. Work’s email practices are not in question.
Traveling in Irbil, Carter told reporters, “I should have known better”. The Times said it was given the emails in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
That Carter apparently chose to use a personal account after the Clinton revelation has already drawn a sharp rebuke from Sen.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, issued a brief statement urging Carter to formally request an IG review. Under Carter, the Defense Department has made cybersecurity a priority. Cook said Carter stopped the practice, but Cook did not say when.
The messages were on a range of government business-related tops, such as speeches, meetings, and news media appearances, the Times noted. Such bags are typically used to destroy classified documents. An inspector general has said there was classified “Top Secret” information on Clinton’s private account – having classified government material outside a secure government account is illegal – and the FBI is investigating.
Carter “takes his responsibilities with regard to classified material very seriously”, Cook said.