- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ashton Carter used his personal email account to conduct some official business during his first months as defense secretary, the New York Times reported, citing White House and Defense Department officials and copies of the messages.

Mr. Carter continued the practice for at least two months after Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton came under fire for using a private email server to conduct official State Department business during her tenure as secretary of state.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough directed the White House Counsel’s Office to contact the Defense Department and inquire about Mr. Carter’s use of the private email account after learning about it in May, an administration official told the Times.

It is not clear when Mr. Carter stopped using his personal email account to conduct official Pentagon business, or how many messages he sent or received.

In a written statement released on Wednesday, Peter Cook, a spokesman for Mr. Carter, said the defense secretary “believes that his previous, occasional use of personal email for work-related business, even for routine administrative issues and backed up to his official account, was a mistake.”

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