As Chair of Science Subcommittee With Jurisdiction
LEESBURG – Last week, the New York Times reported that Russian and Chinese spies are “routinely” eavesdropping on calls made by President Trump using his personal phone, according to U.S. intelligence analysis. The report notes that Trump has persisted in using his unsecured phone despite repeated pleas from staff to use more secure communications technology, and that his ongoing security breaches have fed economic and geopolitical strategies employed by foreign governments to undermine U.S. interests.
The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has jurisdiction over cybersecurity and information technology. A newly unearthed video shows that during a 2017 Research and Technology Subcommittee hearing on cybersecurity, chaired by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Committee Member Don Beyer brought up the issue of Trump’s phone security. He repeated a request that the Committee conduct oversight of Trump’s phone security in the wake of an incident at Mar-A-Lago which raised security concerns [Video]:
Comstock responded to these concerns by mocking her Northern Virginia colleague’s “newfound interest in oversight” [VIDEO]. Her subcommittee subsequently held three other hearings on information security, but never visited the topic of Trump’s phone security. The Science Committee opened its own investigation of the Clinton email saga a few months earlier at the height of the 2016 election, duplicating the investigative efforts of numerous federal agencies and other Congressional committees.
The incident is an important reminder that Barbara Comstock’s record of voting with Trump 98 percent of the time does not include the many times she helped shield the Administration from accountability by not taking action, and shows how she repeatedly made partisan loyalty her top priority.