Ocasio-Cortez shocked that Jared Kushner used WhatsApp for foreign policy: 'What's next, nuclear codes in Instagram DMs?'

The Democratic socialist made the remark against Kushner's diplomacy skills during a debate in a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday


                            Ocasio-Cortez shocked that Jared Kushner used WhatsApp for foreign policy: 'What's next, nuclear codes in Instagram DMs?'

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House aide Jared Kushner for conducting official foreign policy through "WhatsApp" messenger and mocked him with a comment saying: "What is next? Putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs?"

The Democratic socialist made the remark against Kushner's diplomacy skills during a debate in a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listens to testimony by Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill February 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) listens to testimony by Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill February 27, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

"Folks are suggesting that we are conducting foreign relations with folks with security clearances via Whats App. I mean, every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day 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," the lawmaker said, according to the Daily Mail.

The news came to light after the House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) reportedly demanded earlier last month that the private communication records of Ivanka Trump and other White House officials, including Kushner's encrypted WhatsApp messages, be handed over to them.

Kushner reportedly shared private messages on WhatsApp with "foreign leaders". Cummings called for the records in a letter written to the counsel to the president Pat Cipollone.

The House Oversight Committee Chairman also accused the White House of "obstructing" the committee's investigation and of violating federal laws by refusing to provide the records.

Senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump (L), and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) attend a summit at the East Room of the White House May 18, 2018, in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Getty Images)
Senior adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump (L), and senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) attend a summit at the East Room of the White House May 18, 2018, in Washington, DC. The White House hosted a summit to discuss prison reform. (Getty Images)

Cummings' remarks came after it was revealed in February that President Trump had intervened on his son-in-law's behalf to demand top-secret security clearance for Kushner against the recommendations of the FBI.

The House Oversight Committee Chairman also noted in the letter that Kushner's attorney Abby Lowell, had told him last year that his client had been "using the messaging application WhatsApp as part of his official White House communication with foreign leaders." Lowell "could not answer whether Mr. Kushner’s communications included classified information — which would be a major security breach."

However, Kushner's attorney noted that the president's son-in-law took screenshots of his WhatsApp messages and sent them to his official White House email account or to the National Security Council so they could be preserved.

Ocasio-Cortez made the comments as lawmakers were debating on the need for additional subpoenas after Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversees the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, said that she had compiled a list of 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year because of their backgrounds, including Ivanka Trump and Kushner. 

Trump administration officials reportedly received security clearances despite "disqualifying issues" in their backgrounds like concerns about foreign influence, criminal conduct, and drug use.