Days after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticized Hillary Clinton for using a personal email account to discuss official business as secretary of state, citing national security risks, the Washington Post found Bush used his private email account during his gubernatorial term to discuss some national security issues, including National Guard troop deployments. A Washington Post review of about 280,000 emails Bush released from his private email account, email@example.com, found the former governor used that account in two exchanges to stay briefed on Florida National Guard troop plans after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Later that year, he also used the account to discuss National Guard security plans for a nuclear power plant in Crystal River, Florida.
Bush aides told the Post the content of those emails was not sensitive, and many of the issues discussed were already publicly known at the time. They also said the emails were secure because the server was at the governor’s office in Tallahassee at the time.
Bush, who is actively exploring a presidential run in 2016, last month published a trove of emails sent during his time as governor of Florida (1999-2007). The emails had already been released to the Florida state archives, in accordance with state law that required him to turn over emails pertaining to official business. But the New York Times reported Bush turned over the final batch of 25,000 emails from that account as recently as May 2014, seven years after leaving office.
Last week Bush criticized Clinton, widely seen as the likely Democratic presidential candidate for 2016, for using a personal email instead of a government one during her time as secretary of state. In an interview with Radio Iowa March 6, he called Clinton’s email usage “baffling.” Clinton has since requested the State Department to release the communications. State Department officials have said they must undertake a review for security purposes that could take several months before they are able to release the files.