Published: Пт, Марта 22, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

House Dems: Kushner's Been Using Encrypted Messaging App For Official Biz

House Dems: Kushner's Been Using Encrypted Messaging App For Official Biz

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a letter to the White House that the use of private email accounts and the messaging application WhatsApp by senior administration officials raises "security and federal records concerns".

Cummings also indicated that he was unsure whether or not Kushner had used WhatsApp to transmit classified government information.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, is expressing concerns over senior White House aide Jared Kushner's use of the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp and his personal e-mail account for official government business.

Cummings' letter says Lowell told his staff that Kushner uses WhatsApp to conduct official USA government business including by communicating with "people outside the United States".

It was unclear whether Kushner continued to use WhatsApp after the December meeting. He also said that the Oversight Committee learned that McFarland "conducted official business on her personal account" when she was deputy national security adviser and that they had "also obtained a document that appears to show that Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, received documents" related to transferring United States nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

The lawyer on Thursday did not directly address the "above my pay grade" comment but said that he conveyed to lawmakers in December that Kushner was following protocols, including in regard to classified information.

Cummings also wrote that the House committee, which he chairs, had obtained documents that appeared to show Bannon received messages to his personal email from Barrack about the technology transfer.

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According to Cummings, when pressed how Kushner was backing up his communications in order to assure that he wasn't violating the Presidential Records Act, Lowell responded that Kushner took "screenshots" and forwarded them to his official White House email account or to the National Security Council.

A representative for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The details about Kushner's use of e-mail and messaging came up because of a new House Oversight Committee demand for documents from Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump as well as from former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland.

Bannon also received a January 29, 2017, email from Barrack that Cummings said was a pitch of the plan sent to inform "Bannon's official work relating to developing 'broader Middle East policy'". "As with all properly authorized oversight requests, the White House will review the letter and will provide a reasonable response in due course", Groves added.

The Presidential Records Act outlines the way White House documents must be preserved and it falls under the jurisdiction of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Meanwhile, the committee said that Ivanka had been receiving official emails on her personal account, and has not been forwarding them to her official White House account as required by law.

In his letter, Cummings pointed out that the White House failed to produce most of the documents requested by the Oversight panel about the use of personal email and messaging accounts by White House officials, as well as records related to other investigations about the administration's immigration policy at the U.S. -Mexico border and hush-money payments made to women alleging extramarital affairs with Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign in exchange for their silence. Rather, she forwards on the government-business-related emails she replies to, according to the Democrat's account of Lowell's explanation.

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