Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Tuesday leveled the Trump administration for granting security clearance to multiple officials who had been flagged for having “serious disqualifying issues.”
In an apparent reference to Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner using WhatsApp to communicate directly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, AOC smoked the administration for not following proper protocols for keeping important national secrets.
“Reports are suggesting that we are conducting foreign relations by people with security clearances via WhatsApp!” she said 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. I mean, really, what is next, putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? This is ridiculous.”
AOC then said that it was necessary to issue subpoenas to Trump administration officials because they were refusing to cooperate with basic oversight requests.
White House Personnel Security Office employee Tricia Newbold told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last month about a systematic breakdown in the White House security clearance process.
In all, Newbold claimed that she had flagged 25 different officials — reportedly including Kushner and first daughter Ivanka Trump — who were granted security clearance over the objections of career professionals. A memo written by congressional aides showed that the individuals flagged by Newbold “had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct.”