Published: Thu, March 21, 2019

Jared Kushner faces scrutiny over alleged use of WhatsApp

Jared Kushner faces scrutiny over alleged use of WhatsApp

Lowell said he was not aware if Kushner had communicated classified information on WhatsApp.

But Lowell said Kushner was not violating federal law requiring official communications to be preserved because he takes screenshots of his messages and then sends them to his White House email account, Cummings wrote.

Cummings wrote that when asked whether Kushner ever used WhatsApp to discuss classified information, Lowell replied, "That's above my pay grade".

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

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a letter that Trump's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, informed the committee late a year ago that Trump doesn't preserve official emails she receives in her personal account if she doesn't respond to them.

Cummings demanded that by April 4 the White House turn over previously requested information about officials' use of personal email and messaging apps for official business.

Cummings wrote that the information came from a meeting on December 19 with Lowell and Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of SC, the former chairman of the Oversight Committee.

The Democratic head of a United States congressional investigative panel is pressing the White House for information on whether Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, used the encrypted WhatsApp messaging service and private email to communicate sensitive or classified information with foreign leaders.

Cummings also said that Steve Bannon, the president's former top strategist who has left the White House, may also have been involved.

Cummings also said his committee obtained documents showing that K.T. McFarland, former Deputy National Security Advisor, and Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist, conducted official business on their personal email accounts relating to transfer of sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. "As with all properly authorized oversight requests, the White House will review the letter and will provide a reasonable response in due course".

The letter raises the latest concern about the use of private email and messaging applications to conduct official White House business. The Democratic chairman said this could be a violation of the Presidential Records Act.

The detail is one of many allegations in a broader letter about the White House's compliance with the Presidential Records Act, which has strict requirements about how administration officials should conduct and record official business.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a powerful White House aide, is not preserving all of her official email communications as required by federal law, the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Thursday.

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