John Kelly and Jared Kushner in fateful showdown over security clearance
John Kelly and Jared Kushner in fateful showdown over security clearance
Letter: Security clearances, lack of sanctions worrisome
24 February, 2018, 11:49
It also provided another layer of intrigue to the acrimonious relationship between Kushner and Kelly, who have been at odds over access to the President and the classified materials he views.
Beyond the clean-cut revocation of interim security clearances for those with applications pending since June 1 or prior, White House officials have fretted over how Kelly plans to "limit access to certain highly classified information for those individuals working with interim clearance status", as laid out in the memo.
That isn't sitting well with chief of staff John Kelly, who warned he would crack down today.
Like Kushner, Porter operated under an interim clearance for more than a year.
"It shouldn't take this long", Trump said, apparently referring to the process of receiving a permanent security clearance. Rosenstein conveyed to McGahn that the clearance process was still ongoing, the source said.
Kelly said in a statement on Thursday that he would not comment on anyone's specific security clearance situation.
Information for this article was contributed by Carol D. Leonnig, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey, Shane Harris, Sari Horwitz, Ellen Nakashima and Julie Tate of The Washington Post; and by Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller of The Associated Press.
The chief of staff ended the practice of routinely granting interim clearances back in September. Much, but not all, of Kushner's work on the two issues singled out by Kelly are handled at those lower levels, an official said.
Jared Kushner looks for security clearance, Bill Morneau teaches sixth graders about gender equality, and testing your knowledge on Oscars trivia. But the President's advisers have determined that taking that step would be drastic and cause deep rifts within the intelligence community and among Trump's top aides.
He claimed that some of the staff members still waiting for a permanent clearance are "people with not a problem in the world", and said Kelly will decide what to do about Kushner's interim clearance. But Trump made clear Friday he would not be intervening.
"That will be up to Gen. Kelly. General Kelly respects Jared a lot and General Kelly will make that call", Trump said at a news conference.
"This is Kelly's way of saying, 'it's me or Jared, '" a Republican close to the White House told VF's Gabriel Sherman.
"I have no doubt he will make the right decision", Trump said.
Two weeks ago, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein called White House Counsel Donald McGahn to inform him that additional information was required from Kushner that would further delay his security clearance process.
Regardless of the security clearance, White House officials and Kushner's lawyers have expressed confidence that he would continue to serve in his father-in-law's administration. Kelly had known about the broad allegations against Porter for months, and initially moved to defend him.
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