A White House cybersecurity official serving under President Donald Trump fell victim to an email prank, it emerged Monday night. Twitter user “SINON_REBORN,” posing as senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner, emailed Tom Bossert asking if he wanted to attend a soirée, which Bossert accepted.
“Tom, we are arranging a bit of a soirée towards the end of August,” the prankster said, reported CNN. “It would be great if you could make it, I promise food of at least comparible [sic] quality to that which we ate in Iraq. Should be a great evening.”
“Thanks, Jared,” Bossert replied. “With a promise like that, I can’t refuse. Also, if you ever need it, my personal email is [redacted].”
Bossert has years of experience working in federal government security. Praised as an experienced and knowledgeable public servant when Trump chose him to serve in his administration, Bossert previously served in the George W Bush administration. He was appointed as assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism back in December. The position, within the National Security Council, has traditionally been held by the person first to brief the president on when a terrorist attack has taken place.
During his time in the Bush administration, Bossert co-authored the National Strategy for Homeland Security in 2007 and was a principal author of a report into the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina. He was also senior director for preparedness policy.
After leaving the Bush administration, Bossert ran a consulting business and served as a senior cybersecurity fellow at the United States Atlantic Council. He was also a Nevada congressman and served in the Small Business Administration.
“Tom brings enormous depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to protecting the homeland to our senior White House team,” Trump said in a statement provided to Las Vegas Review-Journal in December. “He has a handle on the complexity of homeland security, counterterrorism, and cybersecurity challenges. He will be an invaluable asset to our Administration.”
“I have every confidence that Tom will continue to demonstrate the capacity and insight needed to take on the tough challenges facing the country,” Frances F. Townsend, former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to Bush, said in a statement at the time of the announcement.
“Tom Bossert is a dedicated public servant and proven national security professional with significant hands-on experience navigating through security crises and challenges,” Kenneth L. Wainstein, former FBI General Counsel, said in the same statement. “With his background, Tom is uniquely suited to coordinate the government’s homeland security apparatus, and I applaud the President-elect for selecting Tom for this critical White House position.”
As the position did not require Senate confirmation, Bossert took up post on January 20, the date of Trump’s inauguration.
Bossert wasn’t the only victim of the email prank, though. Anthony Scaramucci, who until Monday was White House communications director, was also tricked into believing that he was speaking to former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
“We take all cyber related issues very seriously and are looking into these incidents further,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to CNN.