Does Cramer stand by previous statements criticizing others for “mishandling” classified intel?
(BISMARCK, ND) – Alarming reports that the White House jeopardized America’s national security by disclosing highly classified information to Russian diplomats have shocked the intelligence community and national security experts on both sides of the aisle. Yet, Congressman Kevin Cramer remains silent. Will he hold the president and the country’s security to the same standard he set for others?
Last year, Cramer said an elected official who mishandles classified intelligence, and who could potentially serve as president, “Isn’t qualified to have a security clearance.”
Cramer also introduced a bill in 2015 with the goal of protecting the country’s secrets, saying, “It is in the interest of national security to ensure our nation’s secrets and communications between our top leaders receive the highest level of protection.
In fact, the legislation introduced by Cramer would disqualify public officials who mishandle classified intelligence from holding public office and subject them to punishment including up to three years in prison.
Responding to the obvious contradiction between Cramer’s previous statements and his unquestioning support for the White House, North Dakota Democratic-NPL executive director Robert Haider said:
“‘Kevin Cramer’ and ‘double standard’ go hand-in-hand. By remaining silent about the frightening reports that the president disclosed highly confidential information to the Russians – even after Russia interfered in our country’s elections – Cramer is making a national security issue political, when it should be nonpartisan. But North Dakotans should be used to it by now. He also refuses to hold those in office to the same standard for mishandling classified intelligence that he set for others. That isn’t leadership. North Dakotans need a member of Congress who fights to make sure they are safe. Once again, Cramer is standing up for himself, but not North Dakota.”
In addition to repeatedly dismissing bipartisan concerns over Russian interference in the U.S. election, Cramer has also remained silent on calls from members of both parties for an independent prosecutor to investigate Russia’s attempts to influence U.S. security interests. Last week, following the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey – just as the Russia investigation led by Comey was ramping up – Cramer called concerns over Comey’s firing “crazy” and “laughable in a pathetic way.”