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Trump Overruled Security Officials to Demand Jared Kushner Get Top-Secret Clearance, Report Says
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50265"><span class="small">Doha Madani, NBC News</span></a>   
Friday, 01 March 2019 09:13

Madani writes: "President Donald Trump overruled concerns of security officials and his own White House counsel and ordered that a top-secret security clearance be given to Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, The New York Times reported Thursday."

White House adviser Jared Kushner. (photo: Getty)
White House adviser Jared Kushner. (photo: Getty)


Trump Overruled Security Officials to Demand Jared Kushner Get Top-Secret Clearance, Report Says

By Doha Madani, NBC News

01 March 19


The New York Times reported that Trump overruled security officials and his own counsel in giving his son-in-law top-secret clearance.

resident Donald Trump overruled concerns of security officials and his own White House counsel and ordered that a top-secret security clearance be given to Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, The New York Times reported Thursday.

According to the account, the president ordered John Kelly, then his chief of staff, to give Kushner a top-secret security clearance in May 2018, a move that upset some senior administration officials and led Kelly and the White House counsel at the time, Donald McGahn, to each write internal memos about the incident.

McGahn's memo laid out concerns raised about Kushner and the fact that McGahn had recommended against giving him a clearance that high-level.

"We don’t comment on security clearances," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told NBC News Thursday when asked about the Times report.

Reaction to the report from some Democrats was swift. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that "the mystery" of how Kushner was granted a top-secret security clearance has been solved. "His father in law ordered it."

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement saying that his panel last month began an investigation of the White House security-clearance process. "To date, the White House has not produced a single document or scheduled a single interview," he wrote.

NBC News reported last month that two career White House security specialists rejected Kushner's application for a top-secret clearance after a FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him, but they were overruled by their supervisor, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Kushner's FBI background check identified questions about his family's business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign, sources told NBC News.

The supervisor, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, though he is no longer in that position.

Kushner's was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top-secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline's arrival.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said the Trump White House attracted many people with untraditional backgrounds who had complicated financial and personal histories, some of which raised red flags.

Kushner is also among dozens of staff members in the administration who previously held an interim SCI clearance.

SCI, sensitive compartmented information, is classified material that gets more detailed than top-secret information and can include sources and methods.

As chief of staff, Kelly outlined an overhaul to the processing of security clearances and to discontinue any interim clearances for staff in the Executive Office of the President, NBC News reported last year.

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+6 # randrjwr 2019-03-01 12:09
This is outrageous. I worked in the aerospace industry for 38 years (retired 2010) and having a Top Secret clearance meant something. I held one for 6 months for a sensitive program I was working on. In my security interview, I was asked for 3 local references; I resolved to contact each one when I got home from work to give them a head-up that they would be contacted and it was all legitimate. When I made those calls, I found that they had ALL been contacted already! No chance to "tamper". When I didn't have occasion to use that clearance within 6 months, it was taken away. The idea of getting one in spite of "unfavorable information" was unthinkable.

The EMPEROR TRUMP has just rendered the concept of Top Secret null and void.

The grounds for impeachment and life in prison continue to mount up.
 
 
+1 # randrjwr 2019-03-01 19:16
I neglected to mention that my interview took place late in the afternoon. They wasted no time contacting my references.
 
 
+2 # pushingforpeace 2019-03-01 20:51
Trump's always looking for new business connections. Wealthy Saudis might want a nuke. He truly thinks he's above the law and can do his dirty deals in plain sight. He should go to jail for income tax evasion at the least and for subversion at most. His penchant for authoritarian dictators betrays his yearnings to be one, but he's more like a low-level Mafiosi, a bumbling Godfather without the warmth.
 
 
0 # randrjwr 2019-03-02 10:45
Well said!!!
 
 
+1 # Kiwikid 2019-03-01 22:41
It all kinda moot. If the person presumably with the highest security clearance, the President, can't be trusted to not give top secret information to the Russians in his own office, they might as well give the SCI clearance to everyone - gardeners, cooks, cleaners, security guards.
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2019-03-02 03:05
Trump is emerging as the most eminent danger to Democracy in our nation's history. I wonder if it is all just circumstantial or is there a method to his madness? Does Sir Donald really want to be Donald the First and hobnob with other dictators in the world (like Kim and Vladimir) on a first among equals basis? He already has a dedicated class of servant-soldier s among his base and within just about all of the Republican Party. It is looking more and more obvious that the tree of liberty may have to be watered by the blood of patriots.

Cohen referred to this idea when he mentioned, in his appearance before that House committee, that Trump might not depart peacefully. I noticed that none of the committee members pursued that line of reasoning. What held them all back? Fear?
 
 
0 # randrjwr 2019-03-03 13:43
Quoting DongiC:
(Partial) ...........

Cohen referred to this idea when he mentioned, in his appearance before that House committee, that Trump might not depart peacefully. I noticed that none of the committee members pursued that line of reasoning. What held them all back? Fear?


Excellent question---or was it, maybe, complicity, at least on the part of the GOP (Grand OLigarchic Party)?