- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 17, 2015

President Obama’s spokesman confirmed Thursday that White House officials asked the Pentagon in May about Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s use of a personal email account for some official business, but didn’t indicate any followup to learn whether he he stopped the practice.

“It’s obviously a mistake,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said of Mr. Carter. “He owned up to it.”

He said Mr. Carter has ensured that all government records on his private email account have since been “properly” stored and secured.

Asked if Mr. Carter’s move compromised sensitive government documents, Mr. Earnest said “it does not appear that his mistake led to any sort of breach of classified information.”

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, upon learning of the problem in May, directed the White House counsel’s office to contact Pentagon officials.

“Those concerns were relayed,” Mr. Earnest said.

But he had no explanation for why Mr. Carter apparently continued to use the personal account until a few months ago.

After former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s scandalous use of a private email server to conduct government business, Mr. Earnest said there is “no ambiguity” that government employees shouldn’t engage in the practice. But he couldn’t say for certain whether any other Cabinet members might be doing so.

“If there are, this surely is another reminder of why that would be a poor choice,” Mr. Earnest said.

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