- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2019

Nikki Haley, President Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., sent classified national defense information while in office using a system meant for sharing unclassified material.

Public records recently obtained by the American Oversight, a self-described nonpartisan watchdog group, show that Ms. Haley shared classified information in July 2017 through OpenNet, a State Department system for sensitive but unclassified communications, The Daily Beast first reported Wednesday.

Among a trove of emails obtained by the group through the Freedom of Information Act are messages indicating that Ms. Haley used a smartphone to send classified messages on OpenNet after losing her credentials to access a more appropriate system.

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The collection of recently published correspondence includes several redacted emails that are designated as having been sent from the ambassador’s Blackberry 10. They were sent on the heels of North Korea testing an intercontinental ballistic missile and includes messages between Ms. Haley and her staffers as they drafted her public response.

Several messages in the conversation, including emails sent from Ms. Haley’s smartphone, were redacted prior to being released due to containing either “classified national defense and foreign relations information,” “foreign government information” or “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.”

In an email dated July 5, 2017, Ms. Haley indicated why she was conducting the conversation using a system not meant for classified information.

“Can’t find my password for the high side,” Ms. Haley explained in an unclassified email obtained by American Oversight.

The revelation was quick to cause comparisons to be drawn between Ms. Haley and Hillary Clinton, the former Democratic presidential candidate who used a non-governmental email server to send and receive classified information while serving as secretary of state.

“The American public has heard for years what the standard is for senior State Department officials mishandling classified information in their emails,” said Austin Evers, the executive director at American Oversight.

“Ambassador Haley may have found it inconvenient to update her password,” he told The Daily Beast, “but, as we all know, ‘convenience’ is not an acceptable reason to skirt information security rules. She should be held to the same standard as everyone else,” according to the website.

Ms. Haley, a Republican, served as the governor of South Carolina before acting as the U.S. ambassador for the first two years of the Trump administration.

A spokesperson for Ms. Haley did not respond to a request for comment, The Daily Beast reported.

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