Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Republican Security Breach in the House

October 24, 2019

Foreign Policy for America Statement on the Republican Security Breach in the House

Washington, DC – Yesterday Republican Members of the House followed the lead of President Trump, who frequently flouts basic yet critical security measures, when they charged into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), without even stopping to drop their cell phones. The group, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, was not invited to the private impeachment deposition and was simply engaging in a childish tantrum under the guise of protesting a lack of transparency.

Not only was this immature, but most importantly it was an egregious and unforgivable security breach, done for purely political reasons. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of national security can tell you that bringing personal electronics into a SCIF is a major violation of all security protocols. These Members might as well have invited foreign agents from Russia and China directly into the room with them. And not only did they bring their devices into the room – they appeared to tweet from inside the SCIF. While some Members claimed their staff was tweeting on their behalf, it’s pretty clear they were still conveying updates and photos to those staff members via their phones.

“It’s not just that this was a frat house stunt to distract from a Pentagon official’s testimony. This was dangerous,” said Foreign Policy for America Executive Director Andrew Albertson. “The Republicans who bull rushed that secure facility essentially invited Russia and China to listen in. If anyone else with a security clearance did something that ridiculous, they would be fired. End of story.”

“The childish, reckless, and national security-endangering behavior by these Republican Congressmen underlines their willingness to compromise our nation’s well being due to their preference for cheap political tricks,” said Robert Gelbard, former Ambassador to Indonesia and Bolivia and former Assistant Secretary of State. “Their gross security violations of a secure room (SCIF) should not be ignored. They must be banned from any Committee dealing with classified matters and banned from access to classified materials.”