Report: Kushner's security clearance downgraded

President's son-in-law and adviser will be prevented from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access.

Ben Ariel,

Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner
Reuters

Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded, preventing him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access, Politico reported on Tuesday, citing three people with knowledge of the situation.

According to the report, Kushner is not alone, as all White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances — at the Top Secret/SCI-level — were informed in a memo sent Friday that their clearances would be downgraded to the Secret level.

The SCI acronym stands for sensitive compartmentalized information, a category of information that comes from sensitive intelligence sources and must be walled off.

The memo was not signed by chief of staff John Kelly, but it comes as Kelly and other top White House aides are grappling with the fallout of a scandal involving former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, which revealed that dozens of White House aides had yet to receive permanent clearances but nonetheless had access to some of the country’s deepest secrets.

The president has the ability to grant Kushner a permanent clearance, but Trump said Friday — the same day the memo was sent — that he was leaving the decision to his chief of staff.

“I will let General Kelly make that decision,” Trump was quoted as having told reporters. “I have no doubt he’ll make the right decision.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the memo.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on Kushner’s clearance status at a briefing Tuesday.

“We actually haven’t commented on Jared’s issue indicated, but we have commented on his ability to do his job. Which, he’s a valued member of the team and he will continue to do the important work that he’s been doing since he’s started in the administration,” she said.

Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell said in a statement that Kushner “has done more than what is expected of him in this process.”

Lowell added that the changes would “not affect Mr. Kushner’s ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the president.”

The decision is the first change to the clearance process instituted in the wake of the Porter debacle that will directly affect Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to Trump and has until now had access to the president’s daily brief, the most highly-classified document that Trump sees.

Kelly last week issued a public statement that Kushner would be able to continue his work in the White House unfettered, noted Politico.

“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,” Kelly said in the statement.

Kushner, along with Trump’s peace envoy Jason Greenblatt, last week told UN Security Council ambassadors that they hope for their support for the upcoming peace plan.

Kushner’s peace efforts have received the backing of the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers.




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