According to a new State Department report, Caroline Kennedy, the United States ambassador to Japan, used a personal email account to conduct official business, just as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did.
The revelations raise fresh questions about Clinton’s handling of the department and a top down attitude within the agency of lax information security.
Many State Department personnel were found to have used their personal accounts to both send and receive official messages, the State Department’s inspector general established in an investigation of Kennedy’s office in Tokyo.
In the report, released on Tuesday, investigators wrote that “Senior embassy staff, including the ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business.” The report added, “In addition, (investigators) identified instances where emails labeled sensitive but unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts.”
The report said that Kennedy’s deeds were against State Department policy and put the office at risk. But State Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday that there was “absolutely no indication” that she had gone against the department’s policies
“In accordance with department policy, the mission requires the use of official email accounts to conduct official business whenever possible,” Kirby said, adding, “There’s absolutely no indication that (Kennedy) violated department policy.”
Except for that pesky little report.
Clinton, who was the secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term in office, has had her political campaign’s first months dogged by inquiries for similar personal email use.
Republicans have argued that Clinton violated the law, but her campaign team maintains that Clinton has not done anything wrong.
Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, has returned to the limelight since Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump began questioning her credentials for the ambassadorial job, which he claims she got due to goodwill from the White House.
In an interview, Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “I mean, she’s a very nice person, my daughter likes her … Caroline Kennedy. OK, in Japan. She didn’t even know how she got the job.”