Jared Kushner faces scrutiny over alleged use of WhatsApp

Jared Kushner faces scrutiny over alleged use of WhatsApp

Politico reports that Cummings sent a letter to the White House's legal counsel saying Kushner's lawyer informed lawmakers that President Trump's son-in-law was conducting official government business through WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging service.

Cummings said that when the House was under Republican control in March 2017, his committee had started investigating whether White House officials were using personal email and messaging accounts to conduct official business.

In his letter to Cipollone, the House Oversight Committee chairman wrote that Lowell "could not answer whether Mr. Kushner's communications included classified information-which would be a major security breach-but instead, directed the Committee to inquire with the National Security Council and the White House".

The congressman also said Lowell told his committee that Ivanka Trump - the president's daughter, Kushner's wife and a White House adviser - continued to receive emails related to official business on a personal email account.

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.

The letter raises the latest concern about the use of private email and messaging applications to conduct official White House business. Lowell said that he "never" said at their December meeting that Kushner's communications on WhatsApp were with foreign "leaders" or "officials".

According to the letter, Lowell said that Kushner wasn't violating records preservation laws because he sends screenshots to his official White House email address.

In his response letter Thursday, Lowell stressed that he didn't say whether Kushner used WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders or officials.

As to whether Kushner shared classified information, Lowell replied: 'That's above my pay grade'.

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CNN reported past year that Kushner was communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman using WhatsApp.

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. Lowell added he later told the committee, "Now she always forwards official business to her White House account". The newspaper said many of those communications violated federal public records rules.

The revelations are particularly embarrassing for President Trump, who during the 2016 campaign called for the jailing of Hillary Clinton over her own use of a secret email account to exchange top-secret information.

Last year, Ivanka Trump alleged "there's no connection between" her email use and Clinton's. "There were no deletions".

In his letter Thursday, Lowell said he was referring to Ivanka Trump's email practices before September 2017, when White House lawyers discovered the extent of her personal email use.

McFarland was found to have used her AOL.com account to conduct business about a transfer of "sensitive USA nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia" in coordination with Tom Barrack, a personal friend of the president's who was chairman of the inaugural committee. It cites a February 6, 2017, email between McFarland and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

And he asked the White House for a briefing on its protocols for preserving records in accordance with the law. An attorney for McFarland declined to comment.

Lowell didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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