- The Washington Times - Friday, January 24, 2020

Sen. Ron Wyden questioned the National Security Agency on Friday about whether President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner could have been hacked by Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Wyden, Oregon Democrat, wrote NSA Director Paul M. Nakasone after experts connected the Saudi crown prince to malware found on the phone of billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

“Recent media reports revealed that consultants working for Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos determined that his phone was hacked with malware delivered through a WhatsApp message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Mr. Wyden wrote.

“How confident is the NSA that the Saudi government has not used the crown prince’s WhatsApp account to hack senior U.S. government officials, such as Jared Kushner, who are also reported to communicate with Crown Prince bin Salman using WhatsApp,” Mr. Wyden asked.

The NSA did not immediately return a message requesting comment.



Consultants hired by Mr. Bezos announced this week that an analysis of his cellphone concluded with “medium to high confidence” that it had been compromised after receiving a malicious file sent from the Saudi prince over WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging service owned by Facebook.

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Mr. Kushner, previously confirmed that his client had used WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders, late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote in a letter sent to the White House in March. CNN reported days later that the Saudi prince was among the individuals with whom Mr. Kushner had exchanged WhatsApp messages.

“It is no secret that foreign intelligence services target senior U.S. government officials and seek to compromise their professional accounts and devices as well as their personal ones,” Mr. Wyden wrote to the NSA director.

“The American people have a right to know if their government is protecting senior officials from clear and present cyber threats — especially with an election mere months away,” Mr. Wyden said.

Mr. Lowell did not immediately return a request for comment.

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