On Saturday, March 4, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence complained via Twitter that the Associated Press printed the personal email address used by his wife, Karen, although the email address is still active and she is not a politician. He also tweeted a link to a letter that his lawyer sent Gary Pruitt, the President and CEO of the Associated Press about the matter.
Critics believe that this is merely another example of Republicans trying to “change the narrative” so that news outlets and the public focus less on their wrongdoings. In this case, an investigative news report revealed this week that Pence used his private email address to conduct government and homeland security matters while he was governor of Indiana and that his account had been hacked by a scammer last summer. This action is newsworthy on its own because of the huge breach in security it represents. In combination with Pence’s repeated criticisms of Hillary Clinton for the same actions, the bigger story is the vice president’s hypocritical behavior. Worse yet, Pence actively attempted to block the release of his emails to the government and public by Friday even though both he and the president urged members of the public to hack and release Clinton’s emails while on the campaign trail.
Pence claimed in the letter and tweets that his wife received hate mail because of the AP story. He demanded the removal of the address and an apology. The AP did remove it as soon as they confirmed that it was in fact still an active account. Pence’s lawyer referred to the AP’s actions as reckless and irresponsible and called the conduct of the publisher “reprehensible.” As pointed out by several media outlets, Karen Pence’s email address was part of a records release accessible to the public.