Politico reported that, in addition to Kushner, “all White House aides” with the highest level interim clearance — Top Secret or “sensitive compartmented information,” the publication said — had been downgraded to Secret level clearance.
Reuters reported that the change in clearance means Kushner and others have lost access to the President’s Daily Brief, the report President Donald Trump receives daily from the intelligence community.
White House chief of staff John Kelly told Politico in a statement: “As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico.”
The Washington Post reported Friday, citing three unnamed people familiar with the discussion, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had informed White House Counsel Don McGahn on Feb. 9 of “significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner,” in the Post’s words.
Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed official, that Rosenstein had passed information to McGahn “that led to the slowing or stopping of Kushner’s pending clearance application.”
The White House has faced scrutiny over its security clearances since the first days after Trump’s election. In early 2017, the New York Times reported that Kushner had left meetings with Russian officials off of his application for a security clearance. In July, the Times reported that Kushner’s clearance had been amended multiple times to add more than 100 foreign contacts.
The issue reached headlines again when it was revealed former White House staff secretary Rob Porter kept his high-level administration job, with an interim security clearance, months after the FBI first informed the White House that two ex-wives had accused him of domestic violence. CNN and NBC News reported earlier this month that more than 100 White House staffers were operating under interim clearances as of November of last year.
This post has been updated.
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