Soon after President Trump was sworn into office on January 20, the NSA warned Jared Kushner not to use a personal email address for government business because it would leave him vulnerable to hacking by the Russians and others. So then he proceeded to use a personal email address for government business.
“The National Security Agency warned senior White House officials in classified briefings that improper use of personal cellphones and email could make them vulnerable to espionage by Russia, China, Iran and other adversaries, according to officials familiar with the briefings,” Politico reported.
Gee, who would want to allow their personal cellphone to be used as a clandestine listening device for the Russians, as the NSA warned White House officials could easily happen. Or allow whoever was spying to take photos and video or transfer vast amounts of data, as a former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the briefings told Politico they were warned could happen.
“The officials said White House aides also were told they should assume that foreign cyberspies had already penetrated their personal email systems to some degree and used that access to vacuum up everything not just on their own computers and phones but those of their contacts.”
Specifically, Kushner was aware that using a personal device for work would give cypberspies access to their work computers and emails.
It’s not as if it can’t happen. Vice President Mike Pence used a personal email account as Governor and was hacked (something Republicans can’t say about Hillary Clinton’s personal email account).
It’s not as if it didn’t happen and it’s not as if Jared Kushner didn’t leave his communications wide open to be hacked after he was warned by the NSA not to because it would make his communications vulnerable to espionage by Russia and others.
“Here’s a good reason why it matters that Kushner is using private emails–it’s reportedly a “safe bet” that foreign governments hacked him,” legal expert Renato Mariotti wrote on Twitter.
Here's a good reason why it matters that Kushner is using private emails–it's reportedly a "safe bet" that foreign governments hacked him. pic.twitter.com/lc36bGBQSu
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 30, 2017
I’ll just take this to the logical conclusion here. Not only is it a safe bet, but Jared left his devices open to cyberspies knowingly. Why he did that is anyone’s guess.
For people who rode into the White House on disingenuous “lock her up” chants, it’s an incredible irony that they appear to be guilty of something so much worse than simply using private email addresses and devices.
It is now established that Jared Kushner used that private email address knowing that it would give cyberspies in Russia access to his work computer and all of his contacts.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.