Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has a permanent security clearance after nearly three months operating on a temporary and downgraded status, a White House official confirmed Wednesday, saying that the FBI has found nothing in Kushner’s past that would tend to recommend against it.
Kushner had been relegated to pushing Middle East diplomacy without a ‘Top Secret/SCI’ clearance since the end of February.
That situation was part of the embarrassing fallout from the revelation that one of the president’s closest aides had been working on the basis of a temporary clearance even though federal agents know about physical abuse claims lodged by his two ex-wives.
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had lost his ‘Top Secret/SCI’ security clearance as part of a West Wing-wide review in February, but got it back this week
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yanked several senior officials’ temporary top-level clearances in February
Chief of Staff John Kelly ended lengthy temporary clearances for several elite West Wing staffers after the dismissal of former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, insisting that they must lose access to the government’s most sensitive material while lengthy background checks wore on.
The FBI finally cleared Kushner after more than 17 months of vetting, The New York Times reported. Among other benefits he will have restored is access to the President’s Daily Brief, a morning summary of global intelligence.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders downplayed the change in February, saying Kushner remained a ‘valued member of the team’ whose work woud be unaffected.
But news reports at the time told a different story involving the governments of China, Israel, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates trying to manipulate a man they saw as a geopolitical novice whose overwhelming debts connected to commercial real estate projects made him anxious to find financial partners.
CNN reported Wednesday that while the FBI was finalizing his security review, Kushner met for a second time with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, answering questions about his role in the Trump campaign and his contacts with prominent Russians and other foreign nationals.
He omitted those relationships – dozens of them – when he filed his initial application for a security clearance, and was forced to amend it later.
Kushner’s downgraded clearance was yet more fallout from the DailyMail’s report of abuse allegations against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, whose ex-wife Colbie Holderness (pictured) had accused him of physical abuse
That hurdle caused part of the delay in finalizing Kushner’s clearance, the official said Wednesday.
The White House has sought to portray the FBI’s plodding pace as an ordinary situation endemic to any new government official with longstanding financial entanglements.
But a law enforcement source told DailyMail.com that a major stumbling block was Kushner’s failure, even on his re-submitted application, to mention the now-famous 2016 Trump Tower meeting attended by Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
‘SCI’ stands for Sensitive Compartmented Information, the highest clearance level available in federal government service.