In a story reported by Politico on Sunday, the National Security Agency warned incoming White House officials about the danger involved in using personal, unsecured cell phones and emails. These briefings were considered so sensitive that they were held in the White House Situation Room. The dangers were clearly spelled out. “The NSA briefing explained that cyberspace could be using sophisticated malware to turn the personal cellphones of White House aides into clandestine listening devices, to take photos and video without the user’s knowledge and to transfer vast amounts of data via Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth.”
One would think, following the furor that followed Hillary Clinton throughout her campaign on her use of a personal email server, that they would have paid attention to this warning. Apparently not.
With an arrogance that defies belief, Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump set up their own private family domain shortly before Trump took office and that Kushner used it to communicate with top White House officials in early 2017. His attorney claimed that these communications were fewer than 100 from January through August. Whether one or one hundred, this opened a pathway for cyberspies to hack his system. One former law enforcement official was quoted in the Politico article “Getting access to your personal email is just the first step in the calamity that will eventually follow. And a potential lapse in security protocols could have such a deleterious effect on America that we may not ever understand for years how bad it is until it’s too late.”
To add insult to injury, Kushner did not disclose the existence of these emails during his recent testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. When the members of the committee learned about the existence of these emails, through news reports, it led to a letter being sent to Kushner from the leading members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence demanding that he disclose them to the committee.
This is in no way to excuse Clinton’s use of a private email server. It was wrong then and it was stupid. But despite thousands of man-hours spent investigating her server, there has been no confirmation that it was ever hacked. Kushner and other top officials in the White House are prime targets for hackers, especially those from unfriendly countries. Even if the information obtained is not classified, a second former intelligence official said “I’ve moved heaven and earth to get into the unclassified accounts of legitimate intelligence targets around the world. Just because he [Kushner] thinks it’s unclassified doesn’t mean it does not contain information of great value to us.”
The only reason to use private emails and unsecured personal cell phones is to avoid having to disclose information to the public. That was why Clinton set up her server and why the Kushners set up theirs. Their disregard for the security of our country is staggering. Their arrogance is believing they could get away with doing the same thing they attacked Clinton for is beyond belief. It also demonstrates a level of stupidity that is frightening.
Kushner has been shown to be incredibly lax in his adherence to security protocols. The multiple omissions from his security clearance forms should have raised immediate red flags. His failure to reveal the existence of his personal email account to conduct government business is just the latest outrage he has committed. Which raises the question that has been asked numerous times
Why does Jared Kushner still have security clearance?