Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday tore into Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and policy advisor, over his reported secret communications with foreign leaders using the encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp.
CNN reported in October that Kushner had been using WhatsApp and a private email account to chat with high-ranking international officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Kushner also lied on security clearance forms about WhatsApp communications he had in 2016 with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Kushner's top-secret clearance was revoked after he revealed dozens of additional off-the-record communications with foreign officials.
On Monday, The Washington Post reported that 25 security clearance denials were overruled by the White House. One of the individuals mentioned was Kushner. The group included “two current senior White House officials."
Ocasio-Cortez addressed her colleagues in the House who are investigating whether actors within the Trump White House represent a threat to national security:
"Every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day that we are putting hundreds, if not potentially thousands, of Americans at risk. I mean, really? What is next? Putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? This is ridiculous."
.@AOC: "Every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day that we are putting hundreds,… https://t.co/O954NPa5am— The Hill (@The Hill)1554222660.0
The 29-year-old freshman lawmaker stressed the necessity of subpoenaing members of the Trump administration, who have so far refused to turn over requested security clearance documents to Congress.
"We need to get to the bottom of this. And in order to do that, we have to issue subpoenas because people in this administration are not cooperating, and every day that there is an insecure line of communication that could be leaked, that could be hacked, that could be screenshotted without our proper channels, is a day that we are putting our national security at risk."
AOC's impassioned emphasis on oversight was non-partisan:
"It doesn't matter the party. When something is going wrong in government, when there is an overreach, when there is an abuse or misconduct of process, we have an obligation to see and investigate it out, and so, it is so serious, especially as a New Yorker, especially as anyone who cares about the security of what happens on American soil. Every day we have an unsecured line of communication, we have a responsibility to investigate it and to make sure we get to the bottom of it."
That is probably a good idea.
@thehill @AOC Trump is now asking an official in the WH: "So... I shouldn't be putting launch codes in my Instagram DM's?"— Fatboy Slimmer (@Fatboy Slimmer)1554223588.0
@thehill @AOC Like, oh my God!— JakeR❌ (@JakeR❌)1554222774.0
@thehill @AOC Yes!! You have to do it now!!— Allie G (@Allie G)1554223924.0
If this all seems familiar...
... you are not alone.
@thehill @AOC She's right. If Hillary's private server as SOS was a big deal (it was), this is also a big deal. Any… https://t.co/omz9z48NY8— D. L. for Bernie (@D. L. for Bernie)1554223279.0
@thehill @AOC Have we hit "Projection Bingo" yet? Is there any topic that the Grand Trump Party complained about be… https://t.co/YtohtngStl— Tom Eire (@Tom Eire)1554222963.0
@nowthisnews @AOC Hillary must be thinking to herself: Where are all those who raised hell and cost me an election over some emails now?— Rodrigo (@Rodrigo)1554229045.0
@nowthisnews @AOC but the emails!— Kategories 📇 (@Kategories 📇)1554225885.0
Leadership we need.
Last month, House Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote in a letter to Kushner's attorney that sloppy record-keeping by the administration could amount to violations of the Presidential Records Act.
“The White House’s failure to provide documents and information is obstructing the committee’s investigation into allegations of violations of federal records laws by White House officials,” Cummings wrote. He said he would “be forced to consider alternative means to obtain compliance” if the White House refuses to cooperate with the Committee's investigation.
The law forbids “using a non-official electronic message account" unless a copy is submitted into the official record within 20 days.
“This is very likely a violation of the Presidential Records Act,” Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) said at the time regarding Kushner's use of backchannels. “We should remember Jared Kushner was alleged to have attempted to set up a back-channel communications with the Russians during the transition, if you remember that reporting.”
“Both Jared and Ivanka were denied—or serious questions were raised—by intelligence and law enforcement about their security clearance. The president overruled those objections and directed they be given and then lied about it,” Cicilline continued. “This is very concerning—not only is it potentially a violation of the Records Act but also raises questions: What is he communicating about, and why does it need to be kept a secret?”
But her emails.