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A Presidential History of the 'Dog Ate My Email' Excuse

  • A Presidential History of the 'Dog Ate My Email' Excuse-

    2003-05: The G.W. Bush Administration

    Two incidents occurred in this time period. The first involved the Valerie Plame controversy, in which Bush White House staffers allegedly leaked the identity of a CIA officer. The explanation for lost emails was a backup system upgrade. The second incident involved the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys under controversial circumstances. The lost emails were blamed on use of the RNC-hosted server, not the White House server. While backup technology during this period was improving, plausible deniability was still high.

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A Presidential History of the 'Dog Ate My Email' Excuse

  • 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
  • A Presidential History of the 'Dog Ate My Email' Excuse-5

    2003-05: The G.W. Bush Administration

    Two incidents occurred in this time period. The first involved the Valerie Plame controversy, in which Bush White House staffers allegedly leaked the identity of a CIA officer. The explanation for lost emails was a backup system upgrade. The second incident involved the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys under controversial circumstances. The lost emails were blamed on use of the RNC-hosted server, not the White House server. While backup technology during this period was improving, plausible deniability was still high.

Ever since email first entered the White House, presidential administrations have used the "I lost my email" excuse to evade all sorts of controversies. Most recently, Lois Lerner – who ran a key division of the IRS – tried this excuse, but it turns out the government IT infrastructure was too good. Backup and recovery technologies have become significantly more advanced and, in the case of Lerner, the emails were eventually found on a backup tape.

Alas, we live in an age when "The Dog Ate My Email" has lost its bite. "Losing it" is no longer a believable excuse. Most recently, questions have been raised about why Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush chose to use private email accounts as Secretary of State and Governor of Florida, respectively. In this slideshow, Unitrends details the presidential history with emails.