Published: Sun, February 18, 2018

Jared Kushner could lose security clearance under new White House rules

Jared Kushner could lose security clearance under new White House rules

In a five-page memo to the White House counsel, national security adviser and deputy chief of staff for operations, Kelly called for all background check investigations into potential top White House officials to be delivered directly to the White House Counsel's office by the FBI and for the FBI to share "significant derogatory information" uncovered in the course of investigations into senior staff with the White House within 48 hours, according to a copy of the memo released by the White House. In November, one official said, one of Porter's ex-girlfriends called McGahn to describe allegations of domestic abuse by the aide.

That change could impact Kushner, whose clearance has been pending since he began working in the Trump White House more than a year ago.

The memo acknowledged "shortcomings" in the current "inherited" clearance processes that were exposed through "recent events".

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Porter's ex-wife Colbie Holderness said Conway's comment "implies that those who have been in abusive relationships are not strong". They were among more than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President with only some form of temporary security clearance by President Trump's 10th month in office, NBC News reports.

"You also testified yesterday that the FBI completed a background investigation into White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter in late July, yet he remained in his position until last week", the senators wrote. The group would include McGahn, McMaster, Hagin, Wray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats. "The FBI official who delivers these files should verbally brief the White House Counsel on any information in those files they deem to be significantly derogatory".

The allegations against Porter, including a photo of one of the women with a black eye, rocked the White House, which gave varying accounts of who knew what and when. But Kelly writes he is still not sure whether this is achievable.

That restriction would appear to cut off access to key government secrets, including the president's daily intelligence briefing, to President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who still does not have permanent security clearance. Administration officials also have suggested that results of that investigation were closely held within the office.

Reed Cordish is stepping down from his post as an assistant to the president for intergovernmental and technology initiatives and will be replaced by Brooke Rollins, a former aide to Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the White House confirmed on Friday.

"The events of the last 10 days have focused vast attention on a clearance process that has been in place for multiple administrations", Kelly said in the memo to White House staff.

The memo states that "going forward, all [background investigations] of potential Commissioned Officers should be flagged for the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the outset and then hand-delivered to the White House Counsel personally upon completion". Rollins said the White House has been receptive to TPPF's ideas on the issue, and the think tank recently added staff in D.C. to work specifically on criminal justice. Despite reports he had been willing to resign amid the backlash, Kelly's memo seems to reinforce his desire to stay on board. Kelly said his office, the chief of staff's office, must also approve of all new security clearance requests.

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