Rep. Kinzinger Concerned About Russian Bounties And Congress Using Zoom

Jun 30, 2020

Credit http://kinzinger.house.gov/

Northern Illinois U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger says the intelligence community needs to ensure the accuracy of reports that the Russian government has been placing bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The Republican received a classified briefing Tuesday and said while there is good evidence of the practice, there is also conflicting evidence.

“The good news is once we started to even get the beginning of indications of this, the information was sent out to our fielded troops to increase their force protection measures," he said. "That’s a good thing, and it’s on the intel community now to see what they can do to either confirm or deny this is the case.”  

In a statement, Kinzinger and Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas urge “swift and urgent action” to “hold the Putin regime accountable” if the reports are corroborated. 

Kinzinger is also urging Congress to stop using Zoom for videoconferencing. He said he's worried about past incidents of censorship on behalf of the Chinese government as well as Zoom routing data through China. 

“Any information that transits or is stored in China is accessible to the Chinese government, and any company there has to abide by those rules," he said. 

Kinzinger added that lawmakers may be discussing sensitive material that isn’t classified, but “putting the whole picture together” could lead to the exposing of classified settings or visuals. For these reasons, he urged Congress to search for an alternative videoconference tool.