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Ivanka Trump used private email account to conduct government business: watchdog – National

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Ivanka Trump used her personal email account to communicate with White House and cabinet officials on hundreds of occasions last year, both before and after she became an official member of White House staff, according to screen grabs of emails published by a non-partisan watchdog group.

The emails were unearthed by American Oversight after the group filed Freedom of Information Act requests in March 2017, following them up with lawsuits against four government agencies that refused to share the records.

American Oversight eventually received the records from the U.S. federal government’s commerce, treasury, labour, small business administration and education departments.

READ MORE: China denies hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails after Trump accusation

White House ethics officials learned of Ivanka’s use of personal email when reviewing emails dug up in response to American Oversight’s lawsuit, the Washington Post first reported on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s advisers were concerned at the discovery amid fears that Ivanka’s indiscretion was similar to that of Hillary Clinton’s, according to the Post.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly assailed Clinton over her use of a personal email server when she was secretary of state, lambasting her as “Crooked Hillary” and saying she belonged in jail.

The president’s daughter responded that she didn’t know some of the details surrounding the use of email, the Post reported, citing sources aware of her reaction.

WATCH: Clinton email scandal ‘far bigger’ than Watergate, says Trump in 2016







Emails published by American Oversight show Ivanka communicating with the likes of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and treasury official Daniel Kowalski, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, using an email address with a “.com” domain name, rather then a government-issued “.gov” address.

An email sent by Ivanka Trump to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos before Ivanka became an official member of White House staff.

Christina Tudor / American Oversight

An email sent by Ivanka Trump to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in June 16, 2017, after Ivanka became an official member of White House staff.

Christina Tudor / American Oversight

The publication of Ivanka’s emails prompted accusations of hypocrisy among critics of the Trump administration.

Philippe Reines, who was a senior adviser to Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, tweeted: “John Kelly [White House chief of staff] must be compelled to explain to Congress why Ivanka & Jared’s security clearances were granted on a permanent basis despite their email practices being known at that time to the White House as running afoul of security requirements.”

Robert Reich, who served as secretary of labour under the Bill Clinton presidency, tweeted a list of Trump administration members who used personal email to conduct official business before stating, “The shameless hypocrisy of these people never ceases to amaze me.”

Laurence Tribe, professor of constitutional law at Harvard University, tweeted: “You can’t make this stuff up. Not after that gang did the “Lock Her Up!” chant against Hillary for two solid years so Ivanka could become First Daughter. Above the law, just like daddy. Disgusting hardly says it.”

READ MORE: Trump supporters chant ‘Lock her up!’ at rally, hours after bomb mailed to Hillary Clinton

“The president’s family is not above the law, and there are serious questions that Congress should immediately investigate,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement.

“Did Ivanka Trump turn over all of her emails for preservation as required by law? Was she sending classified information over a private system?

“For more than two years, President Trump and senior leaders in Congress have made it very clear that they view the use of personal email servers for government business to be a serious offense that demands investigation and even prosecution, and we expect the same standard will be applied in this case.”

Peter Mirijanian, head of a Washington public relations firm and spokesperson for Ivanka Trump’s ethics counsel Abbe Lowell, said in a statement that the president’s daughter did not delete her emails and kept them in conformity with laws governing the preservation of records, CNN reported.

READ MORE: Jared Kushner likely paid little or no income taxes for 7 years, according to NYT

Mirijanianan also sought to differentiate Ivanka Trump’s use of personal emails with Hillary Clinton’s. He said that unlike Ivanka, Clinton set up a private server and shared classified information in her emails.

“Like most people, before entering into government service, Ms. Trump used a private email. When she entered the government, she was given a government email account for official use,” Mirijanian told CNN.

“While transitioning into government, until the White House provided her the same guidance they had to others who started before she did, Ms. Trump sometimes used her private account, almost always for logistics and scheduling concerning her family.”

Neither Ivanka Trump, President Trump nor the White House have responded to Monday’s revelation.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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