Mike Pence reportedly used private email for state business

The account - used when Mr Pence was governor of Indiana - is said to have been hacked

Mike Pence reportedly used private email for state business

Picture by Gerald Herbert AP/Press Association Images

Vice President Mike Pence used a private email account to discuss homeland security and other sensitive issues, it has been reported.

Emails released under a public records law show that while Mr Pence was the governor of Indiana he regularly used the AOL address to speak to advisers about state business, the Indianapolis Star reports.

The account was later hacked by a scammer asking Mr Pence's contacts for money, the newspaper said.

On the campaign trial, the Vice President hit out at Hillary Clinton's use of a private server and email account for state business - calling her "the most dishonest candidate for President of the United States since Richard Nixon".

In September, he claimed the former secretary of state "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".

In a statement, Mr Pence's office confirmed he "maintained a state email account and a personal email account" while governor of Indiana.

It added: "Mr Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention.

"Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana's Access to Public Records Act."

Under Indiana law public officials are allowed to use personal email accounts, but the statute is interpreted to mean that any official business conducted must be retained to comply with public record laws.

The Indianapolis Star said it had obtained more than 30 pages of emails, but many more were withheld as they were considered confidential.

According to the newspaper, the scammer who hacked the account in May 2015 sent an email which claimed Mr Pence and his wife had been robbed in the Philippines.

The Vice President later sent an email which read: "Although I hear the Philippines is lovely this time of year, you may be relieved to know that we are safely in the Hoosier state and quite well."

Mr Pence's spokesman said the Vice President had then set up a different AOL account with additional security measures, but has stopped using it since he was sworn in.

He added that any comparisons between him and Mrs Clinton were "absurd".