Chaffetz launches probe into Mar-a-Lago security incident

Chaffetz launches probe into Mar-a-Lago security incident

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House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) (Photo: Michael Jolly via Flickr)

WASHINGTON- House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has requested information about security protocol at President Donald Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago.

“News reports have recounted on February 11, 2017, the President and the Prime Minister of Japan discussed North Korea’s launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile while at dinner at the Mar-a-Lago resort’s public dining area,” Chaffetz wrote in a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Tuesday.

“Accounts and photographs from other diners seem to indicate these communications occurred in the presence of other guests. Reportedly, documents were provided by what appeared to be White House staff for the President’s review while the dinner proceeded.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has refuted claims stating classified information was either discussed or contained in documents located inside the Mar-a-Lago dining room and that President Trump was briefed about the North Korean missile test in a secure location within the residence.

Chaffetz said evidence suggested a breach could have taken place.

“Social media accounts have suggested White House staff used their own cell phones to provide illumination for reviewing documents.[1] Separately, one Mar-a-Lago guest posted to his Facebook page a photograph with a man described to be the holder of the “nuclear football.”[2]

Chaffetz’s requests include providing the Oversight Committee with “An explanation of whether proper security protocols were followed with regard to discussions at Mar-a-Lago,” as well as a request to “Identify the documents reviewed at the dinner table and other common areas at Mar-a-Lago, and whether any of those documents were classified or otherwise sensitive, and if so, what classification level and handling caveats applied.”

Chaffetz’s letter comes on the same day that he outraged Congressional Democrats for refusing to investigate information leading up to the resignation of White House National Security Adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.

Flynn resigned on Monday evening and apologized to President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for misleading them about his late December phone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

 

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