Sen. Bob Menendez Wants Probe of Diplomats' Cell Phone Use

Sen. Bob Menendez Wants Probe of Diplomats' Cell Phone Use

By:  Jeffrey Rodack

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., wants the State Department to investigate the use of personal cell phones by senior U.S. diplomats, NBC News is reporting.

Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made his request in a letter to Michael Evanoff, the assistant secretary of state responsible for diplomatic security. NBC News noted the request came after the ongoing impeachment hearings raised concerns about potential cybersecurity breaches.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testified Wednesday about a call he had with President Donald Trump while Sondland was at a restaurant in Kyiv, Ukraine. The conversation was overheard by others.

"Given the importance of this issue and the apparent culture of indifference to classification matters and information security emanating from President Trump, I request your office immediately undertake a review of communication security at the Department," Menendez wrote in the letter. "I assume you share my alarm."

NBC News reported it was unclear whether Sondland used his own personal phone for the call, but Fiona Hill, the former top White House official for Europe, had testified Sondland "was using his own personal cell phone at all times."

Menendez asked for a response from the State Department by Dec. 2.