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Omar knocks Republicans for appearing to bring phones into highly-classified SCIF room

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and other Democrats knocked House Republicans on Wednesday for barging into a classified intelligence room in the U.S. Capitol to disrupt the deposition of a top Defense Department official who was set to testify about President Trump‘s dealings with Ukraine.

“This is what happens when people elect members more interested in media hits than the protection of our national security,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “FYI to everyone who is concerned about my security clearances, I at least know to not bring my cell phones to SCIF and follow protocol.”

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, said Republican members who stormed in “compromised the security” of the room by bringing in phones.

He said some members did not give up their phones when asked.

Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) called the move “dangerous” and said the Republican members should face consequences for “this reckless behavior that endangers national security.”

“Harassment and obstruction by Members cannot be tolerated,” wrote Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) on Twitter. 

Dozens of representatives, including members of GOP leadership, stormed into the secure room, known as a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF), where the deposition of Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was set to take place privately. 

Republicans argued that other lawmakers, and not just members of the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry into the president, should be able to witness the closed-door hearings.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) postponed the meeting and is reportedly threatening the GOP members with ethics violations.

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) wrote in a tweet that he was “still inside” the SCIF and was quickly scolded by social media users for using his phone in the room designed to protect sensitive intelligence information.

Gaetz and other Republicans who had claimed to be tweeting from inside the SCIF later said their staff members were managing their social media feeds outside of the room.

– Rebecca Klar contributed to this report. 

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