Remember how Republicans said that Hillary Clinton using private email showed she should never hold a government office that requires a security clearance again because her data was hopelessly compromised by our enemies and would assure that if elected she would be blackmailed?
Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, Ivanka Trump, and several other top Trump regime officials have been using private email for months now. The NSA warned them immediately that this was a hideously bad idea. They ignored the NSA and did it anyway.
The briefings came soon after President Donald Trump was sworn into office on Jan. 20, and before some top aides, including senior adviser Jared Kushner, used their personal email and phones to conduct official White House business, as disclosed by POLITICO this week.
The NSA briefers explained that cyberspies 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, according to one former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the briefings.
The briefings were held in the White House Situation Room because of the sensitivity of the topics discussed, according to that official and three other former officials familiar with such briefings, which have been given to each incoming administration.
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.
The NSA briefers told the Trump aides that using their personal devices for work, including passing files and emails from one system to the other, could give cyberspies access to their work computers and email, too, the officials said.
If Kushner did not adhere to the security precautions, it could lead to a significant security breach, the officials said, given his access to President Donald Trump and unique portfolio of responsibilities. Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law, is the president’s point man on China, Syria, Middle East peace, and Afghanistan, along with innovation, infrastructure and other issues.
“Jared is probably one of the top five or 10 targets in the U.S. government because of his access to the president and because of the portfolios he’s been given,” said Richard Clarke, a former top cybersecurity advisor to three presidents. “It’s a pretty safe bet that his personal devices have been compromised by foreign intelligence services. And therefore there is some risk that meetings he attends are compromised too.”
Even setting aside the caustic levels of irony that would come from the NSA calmly telling Trump's son-in-law that his private email just might be compromised by the Russians, the fact that Kushner and the rest of Trump's inner circle continued to do exactly what they warned America that Clinton could never be allowed to do is just hysterically funny and sad.
But that's life in 2017 now, isn't it.