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Pence: 'No Comparison' to Clinton On Use Of Private Email

Pence said Friday there's "no comparison whatsoever" between his use of a private email account while governor and Hillary Clinton's.
Image: Pence Swears in Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Vice President Mike Pence speaks before swearing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Pence's ceremonial office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington on Feb. 7, 2017.Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday there's "no comparison whatsoever" between his use of a private email account while governor of Indiana and Hillary Clinton's private server during her time as Secretary of State.

Pence used a private AOL email account to conduct some state business as governor, his spokesman confirmed to NBC News Thursday night.

"There's no comparison whatsoever between Hillary Clinton's practice — a private server, mishandling classified information, destroying emails when they were requested by the Congress and by officials," the vice president told reporters during a surprise stop at an Irish pub in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Pence Press Secretary Marc Lotter said the practice was "similar to previous governors" and added that the communications were being reviewed by outside counsel hired by Pence at the end of his term, transferred and properly archived by the state.

Paper email records were turned over to the office of Indiana’s governor, Lotter said Friday. The Indianapolis Star said 13 boxes were delivered.

Lotter said the review of the personal email account by outside counsel started at the end of last year. They tried to deliver the records on Jan. 9, but because Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb was inaugurated the same day they didn’t end up in the right hands, Lotter said.

Lotter said after Pence learned this week the records had not reached the governor's office, he directed his team to turn them over.

Related: Pence used private email account

Indiana law allows public officials to use personal email, but requires that all records regarding state business be retained and available for public information requests.

The Indianapolis Star first reported Pence's use of a private email account.

During the 2016 campaign, Pence attacked Clinton for her use of a private server, calling it a tactic to shield herself from public scrutiny of her communications while serving as the nation's top diplomat.

On "Meet the Press" last September, Pence told NBC's Chuck Todd: "What’s evident from all of the revelations over the last several weeks is that Hillary Clinton operated in such a way to keep her emails, and particularly her interactions while secretary of state with the Clinton Foundation, out of the public reach, out of public accountability ... And with regard to classified information, she either knew or should have known that she was placing classified information in a way that exposed it to being hacked and being made available in the public domain, even to enemies of this country."

Clinton's use of a private server, and the FBI investigation into it, was a critical issue during the presidential election and was repeatedly used against her on the campaign trail.