Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted the Trump administration’s repeated failures to follow protocols that protect national security, which she pointed out could put “thousands of lives at risk.”
“We’re getting reports that there’s communication happening with Saudi officials via WhatsApp,” Ocasio-Cortez told CNN reporter Manu Raju on Tuesday. “What’s next, Instagram DMs? This is completely insecure.”
The congresswoman added that “anything can get hacked” if Trump administration officials use “insecure channels of communication.”
“If we don’t know what hostile forces know about us, we are putting thousands of lives at risk,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The House Oversight Committee, of which Ocasio-Cortez is a member, is currently investigating such potential security breaches by Trump officials.
Trump’s former deputy national security adviser, KT McFarland, reportedly used her personal email to discuss giving sensitive nuclear technology to the Saudi Arabian government.
And Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, is under scrutiny for using the messaging program WhatsApp to communicate with the Saudi crown prince — which could violate federal law requiring government officials to preserve their communications for the record, since WhatsApp is encrypted and not archived by the government.
Kushner’s decision to ignore the law and protocol is also alarming because of Trump’s decision to grant him access to classified material despite warnings from intelligence officials not to do so.
Congress is also investigating the administration’s use of security clearances after a whistleblower revealed that many others were given clearances despite “serious disqualifying issues,” such as a criminal background or troublesome foreign entanglements.
Before she spoke to CNN, Ocasio-Cortez highlighted the problems with how Kushner’s access had been handled during a hearing of the House Oversight Committee.
“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,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez advocated for issuing subpoenas to the Trump administration to solicit the details of how security clearances are granted, since the Trump team continues to cover it up.
“Every day that there is an insecure line of communication that could be leaked, that could be hacked, that could be screen-shotted, without our proper channels, is a day that we are pushing our national security at risk,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
For two years, the Republicans leading Congress ignored the rampant violations of national security coming from the Trump White House — not to mention a long list of other scandals.
But Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez are finally changing that.
Published with permission of The American Independent.