President Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner will have to push diplomacy on Middle East peace and China without benefit of a top-level security clearance.
Kushner, a senior White House advisor, had his security clearance downgraded following a review ordered by White House chief of staff John Kelly, Politico reported Tuesday.
The downgrade took place along with other aides who were working on temporary or interim security clearances at the Top Secret/SCI-level level.
He will now have to work through his extensive portfolio relying on information only at the top secret level.
President Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner is having his top-level security clearance downgraded following a review ordered by chief of staff John Kelly
The change comes after Kelly ordered a new review of clearance policy, following DailyMail.com’s report that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter had stayed on staff with interim clearances despite abuse allegations by two ex wives.
Both women had told the FBI information about the allegations during the extensive background check process, but it did not prevent Porter from ferrying top secret information to the president’s desk on a daily basis.
According to a previous statement issued by Kelly: ‘I will not comment on anybody’s specific security clearance situation or go beyond the memo released last week. 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.’
LIGHT READING: Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald Trump, departs his home at 7:12 am EST, in Washington, D.C., Monday, Feb. 26, 2018
‘Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President’s agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise,’ he said.
The statement did not mention Kushner’s work with China, but an official said ‘he’s involved in the economic dialogue but that’s been his role on it for months.’
Meanwhile, Josh Raffel, the spokesman for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, is leaving the White House, Axios first reported Tuesday.
Raffel, who was promoted to the position of deputy communications director in the fall, had become the White House’s go-to crisis communications guy, while also having his hand in a number of policy areas.
News of Raffel’s departure comes as Kushner’s ability to tend to his vast portfolio is being questioned, as the president’s son-in-law security clearance was downgraded, while White House fault lines are spilling into the press, such as Chief of Staff John Kelly saying that Ivanka Trump is merely ‘playing government.’
A Hollywood public relations executive, Raffel was brought on to lead the communications team for the Office of American Innovation, which Kushner heads.
His position evolved to becoming the spokesperson for the first daughter and her husband, both top White House advisers.
In another bad break for Kushner, a quote attributed to him that was included on a Trump campaign release Tuesday is in apparent violation of the Hatch Act.
The release naming Brad Parscale as campaign manager for 2020 issued a quote from Kushner praising him under the official government title ‘assistant to the president’ – which is prohibited.
‘Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run. His leadership and expertise will be help build a best-in-class campaign,’ Kushner is quoted as saying.
After the AP asked the campaign about the title, it was removed from the online version Tuesday.