Ocasio-Cortez tears into Trump administration over security clearances

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Tuesday waded into the debate over the White House’s handling of security clearances a day after a whistleblower said that 25 were given to officials after they were initially denied access to top-secret information.

“Every day that we go on without getting to the bottom of this matter is a day that we are putting hundreds if not potentially thousands of Americans at risk,” Ocasio-Crotez said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. “I mean, really, what is next, putting nuclear codes in Instagram DMs? This is ridiculous. We need to get to the bottom of this.”

The freshman lawmaker, who attained fame after defeating the No. 4 House Democrat in a primary upset, said subpoenas would have to be issued to find out what happened “because people in this administration are not cooperating.”

“Every day that there is an insecure line of communication that could be leaked, that could be hacked, that could be screenshotted, without proper channels, is a day that we are putting our national security at risk,” she added.

The whistleblower, White House security adviser Tricia Newbold, raised concerns over the high-level security clearances given to the officials, including three unnamed White House officials. Yahoo News reported Monday that President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, are among the officials involved.

There have previously been reports that Trump personally intervened after clearances for Ivanka and Kushner were denied them. Abbe Lowell, an attorney for both Ivanka and Kushner, has previously said the couple’s clearances were “handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone.”

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🎶What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me?/ Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song/ and I'll try not to sing out of key. / Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends / mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends 🎶 . This was one of my papa’s favorite songs. Before he passed away, he built a trellis for my mother by hand in our backyard. He wanted to inscribe this lyric around the edges, but never got the chance. I have always felt that this is a love song, but a love song for friendship. . This #internationalwomensday, I’m thinking about (and grateful for) sisterhood. At the heart of sisterhood, like so many meaningful relationships, is love. And to me, loving people isn’t about who you’re trying to be a “rockstar” in front of. Love is about who you’re unafraid to let see you sing out of tune. 🎤 . 📸: @rashidatlaib + @azizthefrenchie
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Happy St. Pat’s for All Parade Day from Sunnyside, Queens! ☘️ . The St. Pat’s for All parade began as a demonstration for LGBTQ+ inclusion in St. Patrick’s Day festivities, when people originally tried to keep the LGBT community out of the parade (unfortunately, some NYC parades still do - which speaks to the work still left to be done). The Queens community wasn’t going to stand for that, and 20 years ago the community launched St. Pat’s for All, to celebrate Irish values of welcoming and inclusion to all people - no matter who you love or whatever your station in life may be. . Launched by Councilman Danny Dromm +activist Brendan Fay, St. Pat’s for All is a core tradition in NY14, and happens a bit before the citywide St. Patrick’s Day Parade. . 📸: @josealvarado
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In a letter, the oversight committee requested that the White House turn over a list identifying the 25 individuals.

The committee also requested information from the Executive Office of the President People Information Center database for nine current and former White House officials, including Kushner, Ivanka and National Security Adviser John Bolton.

A Democratic committee aide told Yahoo News that all nine of these officials were not necessarily among those who were initially denied clearances, and said the records were being requested based on “previous public reporting” about issues with their clearances.

Republicans accused House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., of cherry-picking excerpts from Newbold’s testimony to justify another partisan investigation into the Trump White House.

The GOP members of the committee called Cummings’ decision to move forward with the investigation into Newbold’s claims “reckless.”

Cummings said Newbold came forward at great personal risk because she feared Republican retaliation. Ocasio-Cortez said the committee has a “unique responsibility to protect those that have the courage to come out and say when something is wrong regardless of the administration.”

— With Hunter Walker contributing reporting.

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