Ocasio-Cortez takes shot at Kushner over alleged WhatsApp use: What's next, 'putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs?'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Sanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders MORE (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday appeared to take a shot at White House senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerCareer State official warned about Biden's son: report Buttigieg knocks Trump as a 'walking conflict of interest' Biden's weak response to Trump is a lesson for Democratic candidates MORE for his alleged used of WhatsApp to conduct official government business, asking if sharing the nuclear codes via Instagram direct message (DM) would be next. 

"We are getting reports from the press and from a wide variety of sources that indicate that ... we are conducting foreign relations with folks with security clearances via WhatsApp," Ocasio-Cortez said at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on White House security clearances.

"I mean 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," Ocasio-Cortez added, calling on lawmakers to get to the bottom of alleged wrongdoing from the Trump administration when it comes to granting security clearances. 

"In order to do that, we have to issue subpoenas because people in this administration are not cooperating," she said. "And every day that there is an insecure line of communication that could be leaked, that could be hacked, that could be screenshotted without proper channels is a day that we are putting our national security at risk."

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Monday released a memo revealing "grave" concerns a career White House official raised to the panel about the administration's security clearance process. 

The whistleblower, Tricia Newbold, told the panel in late March that the administration has overruled her and other officials over two dozen times in order to grant security clearances to individuals deemed to have “disqualifying issues." 

The accusations from Newbold came just months after The New York Times reported that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE ordered officials to grant Kushner, his son-in-law, a security clearance despite issues raised by the intelligence community. 

Cummings also wrote a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone in March saying he'd obtained information regarding Kushner's use of WhatsApp and personal email to conduct government business. 

“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, that we have a secure line of communication," Ocasio-Cortez said. "We have a responsibility to investigate and make sure that we get to the bottom of it."

Cummings said in Monday's memo that his panel would vote on whether to authorize a subpoena for Carl Kline, the White House’s former personnel security director, as part of its probe into security clearances.