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Trump Overruled His Staff to Give Ivanka Access to Top-Secret Intelligence
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=38463"><span class="small">Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair</span></a>   
Wednesday, 06 March 2019 13:44

Nguyen writes: "It's unknown what red flags might have emerged during Ivanka's background check, whether she was flagged by the F.B.I. like Kushner, or whether her clearance was held up for other reasons."

Ivanka Trump. (photo: Tobias Hase/Getty)
Ivanka Trump. (photo: Tobias Hase/Getty)

Trump Overruled His Staff to Give Ivanka Access to Top-Secret Intelligence

By Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair

06 March 19

Both Don McGahn and John Kelly reportedly refused, so Trump upgraded his daughter’s clearance himself.

ast week, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump ordered that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be given a top-secret security clearance, even after intelligence officials discovered problems with his background check. The F.B.I., White House counsel Don McGahn, and Chief of Staff John Kelly all expressed concerns, but Trump overruled them. Back in January, Trump had said he would never do such a thing. “I know that there was issues back and forth about security for numerous people, actually,” he said in an interview. “But I don’t want to get involved in that stuff.” After the Times report, the White House changed its tune. “We don’t discuss security clearances,” senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News. “But I will tell you that the president has the absolute right to do what was described.”

No surprise then that CNN reports Trump pulled the same strings for his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who is also a senior adviser. According to the report, Trump pushed Kelly and McGahn (both of whom have since left the White House), so as to avoid the appearance of nepotism. Both refused, three sources told CNN, and so Trump granted Ivanka and Kushner top-secret security clearances himself. Ivanka said in an interview over three weeks ago that her father had “no involvement” in getting her or her husband their security clearances. (“I honestly don’t know what’s sadder,” comedian John Oliver quipped the other night, “either Ivanka is knowingly lying about her dad forcing her and Jared’s security clearance through, or she genuinely thinks they got it on merit on their own.”)

It’s unknown what red flags might have emerged during Ivanka’s background check, whether she was flagged by the F.B.I. like Kushner, or whether her clearance was held up for other reasons. Regardless, McGahn and Kelly clearly were not comfortable intervening in the process on behalf of the president and his daughter. (The White House has declined to comment on these stories.)

It’s also not clear why Ivanka needed a top-secret security clearance at all. Unlike Kushner, whose laundry list of responsibilities includes negotiating peace in the Middle East, Ivanka’s portfolio is mostly centered around workforce development and female entrepreneurship. But President Trump had been insistent that both have top-level access, after their clearances were temporarily revoked as part of a new system Kelly put in place in the wake of the Rob Porter domestic-abuse scandal. According to CNN, Trump didn’t understand why there was an issue in granting their clearances because, he figured, they would likely move back to New York soon anyway.

Kushner’s security-clearance scuffle is far more contentious than Ivanka’s, given his numerous entanglements with Israel, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, among others, as well as his presence at the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian agent promising “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. (Kushner also has displayed an unusual malleability in the hands of the Saudi Crown Prince, who once reportedly bragged that Kushner was “in his pocket.”) Last year, The Washington Post reported that at least four countries—including the U.A.E., China, Israel, and Mexico, had privately discussed ways to gain leverage over Kushner, given his international business dealings and lack of foreign-policy experience.

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+19 # DongiC 2019-03-06 14:17
I think the whole Trump family is crooked. Can't we end their brand?Like by incarceration!
+7 # HarryP 2019-03-07 00:17
It’s rather generous for Tina Nguyen to write that Ivanka’s portfolio includes “workforce development and female entrepreneurship.”
There is no evidence she does anything, except draw a salary.
This is nepotism for no discernible reason. Does she need the money? Or is it just a matter of following the family tradition, of grabbing whatever you can get?

It is also cheritable to state that Jared is engaged in working on a solution for the Arab-Israeli conflict, seeing that Jared’s view of the matter dovetails with that of Bibi, an old family friend. His trips to the Middle East are primarily meant to find money to bail out his family’s business - in exchange for favors from the US government.

Javanka have no business working in the White House, not even as interns.
-4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-07 06:32
I just don't see this as an important issue. More than 4.2 million people have these security clearances, including a lot of people who have dual citizenship or work for foreign corporations. The media makes a big fuss out of security clearances but really it is a very sloppy system.
+4 # HarryP 2019-03-07 12:19
No big deal, Rodion?

Jared forgot to list more than 100 contacts with foreigners, including his meeting (immediately after the election) with a Russian intelligence agent (posing as a banker) to set up a direct line (using Russia’s network) to communicate between the Trump White House and Putin’s Kremlin.

Or failure to mention that he participated in a conspiracy with another Russian functionary to obtain dirt in Hillary.

Or meeting with the Russian ambassador. Or, it seems, providing intelligence to the Saudis. Want more examples?

I don’t know what you do for a living, but don’t try your hand at detective work. Following bread crumbs in full view isn’t your thing,
-1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-07 20:45
HP -- I think it is much more serious that Trump's hiring of Jared and Ivanka is nepotism. He should not have hired anyone from his family, other than the PR work that a president's wife does.

Jared is indeed a real crook. But he will never be prosecuted because he is represented by Mueller's law firm. That's his get out of jail free card. You must have notices how deferentially Mueller has treated him. Why did Jared not get the Manafort/Stone treatment from Mueller?

Jared's real conflict of interest is his life-long close relationship with Netanyahoo and his family's investment is settlement housing in Israel. But we can't mention that without running the risk of being called anti-Semitic.

I'm also much more horrified about the appointments of Bolton and Abrams, both of whom have security clearances. Jared is a crook, but these two are mass murderers. And they are neo-cons. That's a criminal conspiracy in itself.

OK -- I will stay away from the detective work. I never did understand the bread crumb bit.
0 # HarryP 2019-03-08 22:13

Assuming Mueller will not indict the president, the indictments of Trump family members will be the endgame, which will drive Trump to Defcon One. Manafort & Stone are not in the same level as Jared & Don Jr. Mueller has yet to address Exhibit A for the prosecution,the Trump Tower meeting. If memory serves me, Jared was at the meeting. Maybe Rhona Graff will fill in some of the details.

You have no idea whether Jared has a get-out-jail card. And you certainly don’t know what Mueller will do next. Btw, Mueller stopped working for a law firm when he became Special Counsel.

We seem to be oddly in agreement, that Trump has committed impeachable crimes. For you they’re the appointments of Bolton & Abrams. I agree. But I would throw in his conspiracy with Russia.

We may also be in agreement with the subject of my post,- that Jared’s numerous secret dealings with Russians should have kept him from getting a security clearing.
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2019-03-07 13:35
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
More than 4.2 million people have these security clearances

Your claim of 4.2 million is a lie. A lie of omission.

Although about 4.3 million Americans have security clearances, THIS article is about Jared and Ivanka having TOP SECRET clearances. Currently that number ranges from 854K to 1.4M, depending on year of statistic.
0 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-03-07 20:49
Oh gee!! 1.4 million is such a more manageable number. Now I feel safe.

I still think this is a tempest in a teapot. Or an non-issue. There are so many really crisis level things facing us that don't involve any sort of security clearance.

There will never be any prosecution for how they got security clearances. But there could be a case for nepotism.