After remaining publicly silent for several days, The Associated Press has finally responded to Vice President Mike Pence’s demand for an apology for publishing his wife’s personal email address in a story on Friday.
The response comes three days after Pence's attorney drafted a letter which called on Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt to remove the email address from the story. Pruitt refused.
"The publication of Mrs. Pence's active private email address to millions of your readers has subjected her to vitriolic and malicious emails and raised serious security concerns," wrote Mark Paoletta, counsel to the vice president. "The Associated Press should have done a proper inquiry into the status of Mrs. Pence's personal email account before publishing it."
The so-called apology from the Associated Press on Monday was lackluster at best.
“We regret if the publication of Mrs. Pence’s email address caused any problems,” wrote John Daniszewski, vice president for the Associated Press wrote. “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 Pence’s email address was no longer active...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.”
Read the full statement here:
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.