Vice President Mike Pence defends his use of private email account as governor of Indiana

The vice president said he "fully complied" with Indiana laws.

ByABC News
March 3, 2017, 4:16 PM

— -- Vice President Mike Pence defended his use of a private email account while governor of Indiana, saying today in Wisconsin there is "no comparison" between his actions and the controversy that dogged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Pence's comments were his first public statement on the issue since emails were released to the Indianapolis Star Thursday that showed he conducted state business with an AOL account. While Pence was not in possession of federally classified information, the Star reported that he did discuss sensitive matters like homeland security and terror attacks, as well as the state’s response.

"There's no comparison there whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice of having a private server, mishandling classified information, destroying emails when they were requested by the Congress and by officials," Pence said.

The vice president is in Janesville, Wisconsin, with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan for an invitation-only event.

"We have fully complied with all of Indiana's laws," the vice president added. "We had outside counsel review all of my private email records to identify any emails that ever referenced or mentioned state business or related activities. And, as Indiana law requires, we transferred all of those to the state of Indiana subject to the public access laws."

A spokesperson for the vice president said that the emails are being archived properly with state officials under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.

The Star additionally reported Thursday that Pence’s email was hacked during the summer of 2016 "by a scammer who sent an email to his contacts claiming Pence and his wife were stranded in the Philippines and in urgent need of money."

While on the campaign trail as President Donald Trump's running mate in 2016, Pence frequently criticized Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

"It's important ... to remember that Hillary Clinton had a private server in her home that had classified information on it," he said during the 2016 vice presidential debate. "Her private server was subject to being hacked."

The FBI said Clinton was “extremely careless” after investigators found more than a hundred emails that contained classified information on her private server. But no charges were brought against her, after a lack of criminal intent was cited.

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