The AP responds to Pence’s demand for an apology for sharing wife’s email

The Associated Press has responded to Vice President Mike Pence’s demand for an apology for publishing his wife’s personal email address.

“We regret if the publication of Mrs. Pence’s email address caused any problems,” John Daniszewski, vice president and editor-at-large for standards at the AP, wrote in a blog post Monday evening.

The controversy started late last week after Pence became the subject of scrutiny when The Indianapolis Star revealed that, as governor of Indiana, the vice president reportedly conducted state business on a personal email account that was hacked.

In the AP’s story about the email news, second lady Karen Pence’s personal email address was published. As a result, she received “vitriolic and malicious emails,” according to a letter to the AP’s president and CEO, Gary Pruitt, from Mark Paoletta, the vice president’s counsel.

In addition to the letter from Paoletta, Mike Pence took to Twitter to demand an apology from the news wire for choosing to publish his wife’s personal information.

For several days, the AP was publicly silent on Mike Pence’s request. When the outlet finally responded Monday, Daniszewski said both of the Pences’ email addresses were shared “in an effort to be transparent.”

Daniszewski did write that when the vice president’s office contacted them Friday about the publication of Karen Pence’s email address, they “stopped including the email address in all subsequent stories.”

“Before the story was published we thought that Mrs. Pence’s email address was no longer active,” the AP official wrote. “We now recognize that including her email address in the story could result in unfortunate and unintended consequences for the Pences.”

Here’s the full statement from the AP:

On Friday, March 3, The Associated Press published a story titled “Pence fought against releasing records as Indiana governor.” We believe this was an important story in the public interest exploring government transparency and accountability.

The story made clear that Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, used their personal email addresses for official state business when Mr. Pence was the governor of Indiana. As a result, their personal email addresses became part of the public record. The State of Indiana was legally required to produce those addresses in response to any Freedom of Information Act request, and it did.

In an effort to be transparent, AP included the Pences’ email addresses in its Friday afternoon news story as proof of the facts in the story. Before publication, AP sought comment and input from the Office of the Vice President; however, Mr. Pence’s team chose not to answer questions and instead referred us to an earlier statement by Mr. Pence that did not address the AP’s questions. The vice president’s office contacted AP on Saturday to express concerns about the publication of Mrs. Pence’s email address and after hearing those concerns AP stopped including the email address in all subsequent stories.

Before the story was published we thought that Mrs. Pence’s email address was no longer active. We now recognize that including her email address in the story could result in unfortunate and unintended consequences for the Pences. We regret if the publication of Mrs. Pence’s email address caused any problems.

Critics have compared Mike Pence’s use of a personal AOL account to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server during her tenure as secretary of state, which was a thorn in the former Democratic presidential candidate’s side throughout the campaign.

That comparison, however, falls somewhat flat, given Pence was likely never communicating about state secrets or information vital to the United States’ national security. Clinton was.