Jared Kushner's Security Clearance Depends on John Kelly, Trump Says

Posted February 26, 2018

Rosenstein allegedly spoke with White House counsel Don McGahn on February 9, telling him that additional information was required from Kushner that would cause further delays for President Trump's son-in-law, who has been using a temporary security clearance since joining the White House.

Kushner is doing "an outstanding job", Trump added, despite having "been treated very unfairly". One other said Rosenstein did not discuss the nature of the ongoing investigation.

The disclosure marked the latest development in an ongoing drama over Kushner's clearance, which has been held up amid questions about his background check. "I have no doubt he'll make the right decision".

As president, Trump can grant Kushner a high-level security clearance even if his background investigation continues to drag on. Kelly has interpreted that as a wide-ranging mandate that would include Kushner, the person said.

In a memo to the White House staff, Kelly said he would cut off high-level access to numerous aides who had been unable to get a permanent clearance.

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"Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President's agenda", Kelly said.

The White House has so far declined to answer questions about how the new rule would affect Kushner. But McGahn and Kelly chose to wait for the FBI to complete its background investigation and took no action at the time to change his access.

The deadline for stripping officials of their interim clearances was Friday, though it wasn't clear by late in the day what specific action had been taken. "General Kelly respects Jared a lot", Trump said.

Problems with security clearance for White House aides surfaced this month in fallout over the abrupt resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter over allegations of domestic abuse against two former wives. Kushner failed to report some of those contacts to USA officials.

The federal inquiry into Kushner's background has been ongoing since past year.

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Kelly said last week that officials who applied for security clearances before July, but still have not been granted permanent access, would have their temporary clearances taken away. Kushner has said the omissions were inadvertent errors.

Ordinarily, security-clearance experts said, the failure to completely disclose all contacts would jeopardize an applicant's chances of obtaining final clearance.

At his news conference Friday, Trump defended his son-in-law, who he noted does not draw a salary. Prosecutors said Flynn was acting in consultation with a senior Trump transition official, whom people familiar with the matter have identified as Kushner.

The information was discovered in the course of Kushner's background check, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

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