Schiff: ‘There Ought To Be A Review’ Of Kushner’s Security Clearance

Bill Clark/CQPHO

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that senior White House adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance should be reviewed in light of reports that Kushner did not disclose additional contacts he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

“I do think there ought to be a review of his security clearance to find out whether he was truthful, whether he was candid. If not, then there’s no way he can maintain that kind of a clearance,” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.”

He cited reports that Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, discussed setting up a secret communications channel between Trump’s transition team and Moscow with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump’s inauguration.

“You have to ask, well, who are they hiding the conversations from?” Schiff said.”If these allegations are true and he had discussions with the Russians about establishing a backchannel and didn’t reveal that, that’s a real problem in terms of whether he should maintain that kind of a security clearance.”

Schiff said he was “disappointed” with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s response to reports that Kushner discussed setting up a backchannel to the Kremlin.

“We have backchannel communications with a number of countries,” McMaster told reporters on Saturday. “What that allows you to do is communicate in a discreet manner so I’m not concerned.”

“I was disappointed to see the general say that. I have a lot of respect for him. Sadly I think this is an administration that takes in people with good credibility and chews them out and spits out their credibility at the same time,” Schiff said. “Anyone within the Trump orbit is at risk of being used.”

 

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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