Vice President Mike Pence has been accused of hypocrisy after it was discovered he used a private email account to conduct state business when he was the governor of Indiana.
Pence used an AOL account to contact advisers on issues such as terrorism and homeland security, although BBC News reports he did nothing illegal. Thirty pages of emails were released Thursday showing exchanges between Pence and his then-advisers.
Pence came out in defense of his use of a personal email account after people began comparing his situation to Hillary Clinton’s controversial use of a private email server, which Pence openly criticized her for during the 2016 presidential campaign.
.@realDonaldTrump and I commend the FBI for reopening an investigation into Clinton's personal email server because no one is above the law.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 28, 2016
“No, there’s no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton’s practice of having a private server, mishandling classified information, destroying emails when they were requested by Congress and by officials,” Pence said when asked if his situation gave him any sympathy for Clinton, according to BBC.
He continued his defense by stressing that no laws were broken by his use of a private email account.
“We have fully complied with all of Indiana’s laws. We had outside counsel review all of my private email records to identify any emails that ever referenced or mentioned business, state business-related activities. And, as Indiana law requires, we transferred all of those to the state of Indiana, subject to the public access laws,” Pence said.
Additionally, last summer, the Indianapolis Star reported that Pence’s account was hacked in a phishing scam. The scammer emailed Pence’s contacts pretending to be Pence, saying he and his wife were in the Philippines and had lost all of their money, their cells phones, and credit cards after being attacked on their way back to their hotel.
Pence created a new AOL account following the hack, but cybersecurity experts told the Indianapolis Star on Thursday that it’s possible his account was fully compromised.
People have taken to Twitter to voice their discontent using the hashtag #PenceEmails, which was trending on Twitter on Friday.
— WomenStopTrump (@WomenStopTrump) March 3, 2017
— The Baxter Bean (@TheBaxterBean) March 3, 2017
— Girls Really Rule. (@girlsreallyrule) March 3, 2017
Some users agree with Pence that his emails and Clinton's emails are not the same.
Did he send & receive classified info?
Did he lie about it?
Did he coordinate pay-to-play schemes?
Then it's not the same thing#PenceEmails
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) March 3, 2017
It is still unclear how often Pence used his personal account for state business versus his state-provided email address, according to CNN.