- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

GOP Rep. Dave Brat on Tuesday said voters in Virginia’s 7th congressional district deserve to know more about Democratic opponent Abigail Spanberger’s work at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia.

“I do think it is an issue,” Mr. Brat told radio host John Fredericks. “I think it’s a big deal, and we’ll see - we’ll see what the voters want to know the basic facts, and so far they have not been reported.”

The United States Postal Service said last week it improperly released Ms. Spanberger’s personnel file and security clearance application, which contained information tied to her work as a substitute English teacher at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Northern Virginia.

The school has been a longtime target of national politicians who have expressed concern about known and suspected terrorists who attended.

Mr. Brat said personal information like Ms. Spanberger’s social security number and medical records should never have gotten released, but that voters deserve to know about her record.

“Why does she hide this from voters? Why isn’t this teaching at [the] Islamic Saudi Terror High on her resume? And if that’s not there, what else isn’t there?” he said.

Mr. Brat is running for re-election in the Republican-leaning district, which stretches from the Richmond area up near Washington, D.C.’s outer suburbs, in a race several political handicappers now say is a toss-up.

Ms. Spanberger, a former federal agent with the postal inspection service and CIA case officer, responded by saying that Mr. Brat’s attempts to question her “strong national security and law enforcement background are desperate and weak.”

“I’m not sure what Congressman Brat has done to fight terrorism, but I was a CIA case officer working counter terrorism cases abroad and running a large-scale program aimed at thwarting the terrorist threat,” she said.

She said she’s received secret and top secret security clearances based on her background.

“I have nothing to hide and never have,” she said. “If Congressman Brat thinks he is a better judge of whom should receive clearances, he is welcome to take that up with CIA, in the interim, I look forward to debating the issues with him.”

The postal service said last week it improperly released the information and apologized to Ms. Spanberger.

The Democrat had demanded earlier that the Congressional Leadership Fund, the main House GOP-aligned super PAC, stop circulating the information and implied that the group obtained it illegally.

The group says it followed the letter of the law and that America Rising, another conservative group, obtained the information through a public records request.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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