President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner amended his application for a security clearance three separate times, adding more than 100 names to his list of foreign contacts, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Kushner is currently facing heightened scrutiny for his meetings with foreign nationals after the revelation he attended a June 2016 meeting coordinated by Donald Trump Jr. with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Kremlin-linked lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton. He omitted all of his foreign contacts on the initial security clearance application that he submitted in January, which his lawyer called an error.
Lawyers who specialize in these forms told TPM it is not unusual for people to supplement them, but said that applicants try to appear as upfront and thorough as possible because they want to avoid the appearance that they are willfully concealing information from investigators.
“You don’t want to be contacting somebody every day to be saying, ‘Oops I forgot this. Oops I forgot that,’” Eric Eisen, a veteran government security clearance attorney, told TPM.
Kushner’s lawyers apparently recently discovered emails detailing the arrangement of the Veselnitskaya meeting while preparing for his testimony before Congress, and immediately moved to amend his list of foreign contacts, according to the Times.
When and in what way Kushner described the encounter to his father-in-law is another matter of concern. Two people familiar with the exchange told the Times that he met with Trump to discuss the meeting around the time he submitted the amended form, but that he downplayed its significance, promising that it would not create headaches for the White House. It’s unclear exactly when that conversation occurred.
Trump told Reuters on Wednesday that he knew nothing about the meeting “until a couple of days ago when I heard about this.” The Times first broke the news about it on Saturday.