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National security expert appalled by Matt Gaetz cell phone stunt: ‘I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is’

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A national security expert and former congressional staffer broke down the seriousness of a breach by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and other Republican lawmakers into a secure area beneath the Capitol.

A group of GOP congress members carrying prohibited cell phones stormed a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the Capitol basement, where Laura Cooper, a Pentagon official with jurisdiction over Ukraine policy, was scheduled to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry.

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“Aside from disrupting the testimony of a DoD official shedding light on the President’s attempts to extort a sham investigation into the child of his most feared political rival by withholding military aid that Congress gave to resist a Russian invasion,” tweeted Mieke Eoyang, vice president of the Third Way think tank’s national security program, “storming the SCIF without respecting the security protocols that require people to leave their electronic devices *outside* the space, is actually compromising our national security.”

She explained that the SCIF itself is designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping to lawmakers can receive highly classified information about very sensitive intelligence operations, and how that information is collected.

“Foreign adversaries are constantly trying to figure out what goes on inside those rooms to figure out what the US knows about them, to out US high-level sources in their governments, to know what the US government knows and use it against us,” Eoyang tweeted.

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The facilities are carefully designed to ensure listening devices cannot compromise their security, and Eoyang said the GOP lawmakers had made an inexcusable error in judgment.

“Members of Congress (and their electronic devices) are high-value targets for compromise by foreign intelligence services,” she tweeted.

Lawmakers have access to sensitive information and are highly sensitive to their public reputations, Eoyang pointed out, which makes them vulnerable to blackmail.

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“They also tend to be lax in their security protocols. This means they may not know they have been compromised,” she explained. “For example, their phones can be turned into listening devices without their knowledge.”

Bluntly stated, Eoyang explained, Gaetz and his Republican accomplices endangered national security.

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“I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is,” she tweeted.

“To disrupt testimony from a DOD official on how the President endangered national security for both the US and Ukraine by withholding military aid,” Eoyang added, “the President’s allies further endangered national security by storming the SCIF with their electronic devices.”

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Ron DeSantis is secretly sabotaging Florida’s efforts to court the Republican National Convention: report

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After President Trump threatened to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis launched a push to bring the convention to his state. But according to a report from The New York Times, DeSantis is now hindering his state's efforts to bring in the event.

"Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, has directed his top fund-raiser, Heather Barker, to tell donors not to give to the convention because of a personal dispute between the governor and Susie Wiles, his former campaign manager who is serving as an informal adviser to the convention planners, according to multiple people familiar with his actions," the Times' Annie Karni and Patricia Mazzei write.

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Kayleigh McEnany has railed against recipients of government assistance — but her parents received $1-2 million in PPP loans: report

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White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany has been highly critical of Americans who receive any type of government assistance and isn’t shy about expressing her disdain for “welfare recipients.” But McEnany’s parents, according to data released by the Small Business Administration earlier this week, received millions of dollars in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

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WATCH: Fast food manager curses at father who asked her to put a mask on while preparing his food

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An incident at a fast food drive-thru in New York on July 4 was captured on video, showing a family engaged in a confrontation with a restaurant manager who apparently wasn't wearing a mask, News12 reports.

Brandon Trotta says he took his kids to Dairy Queen when he saw several employees inside not wearing masks.

“I saw the person preparing our Blizzards not wearing a mask so I told the cashier that I'm not going to take those and I asked if they could remake them wearing a mask,” he told News 12.

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