In Twitter posts, Vice President Mike Pence publicly demanded an apology from the Associated Press (AP) for exposing his wife’s private email address in a report about his supposed refusal to release records of his time as governor of Indiana. Tweeting on the evening of March 4, the vice president said that AP had violated his and his Mrs. Pence’s privacy and security.
In a letter addressed to AP President and CEO Gary B. Pruitt, Pence demanded an apology for a story that appeared on March 3. In the letter, Mark Paoletta -- counsel to Pence -- wrote: "The publication of Mrs. Pence's active private email address to millions of her readers has subjected her to vitriolic and malicious emails and raised serious security concerns…the Associated Press should have done a proper inquiry into the status of Mrs. Pence's personal email account before publishing it."
Afterwards, AP Director of Media Relations Lauren Easton released a statement that read: "AP removed the email address from subsequent stories after learning Mrs. Pence still used the account. The AP stands by its story, which addresses important transparency issues."
The exchange followed stories in the Indianapolis Star on March 2 that claimed that former Indiana governor Pence used a private AOL email account to conduct state business during his tenure. as governor of Indiana. The newspaper suggested that Pence’s private AOL email account was used to discuss subjects such as terror attacks and to receive FBI updates. The email account was also reportedly hacked last summer.
"Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account…as Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act," Pence's office said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star.
Last night the @AP published my wife's private email address, violating her privacy and our security...— Vice President Pence (@VP) March 4, 2017
The revelation of Pence's use of a private email account has been likened by some in the media as being an equivalent of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State, with which she distributed classified information.