US: Jared Kushner's security clearance downgraded

Kushner loses access to President's Daily Brief as White House imposes stricter control over who has access to secrets.

    Kushner has taken the lead on Trump's plan to forge a Middle East peace deal [James Lawler/Reuters]
    Kushner has taken the lead on Trump's plan to forge a Middle East peace deal [James Lawler/Reuters]

    Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to US President Donald Trump, has had his security clearance downgraded, according to sources familiar with the issue. 

    The recent move will end the 37-year-old's unrestricted access to some of the country's most secret documents, including the president's daily brief, Politico reported on Tuesday. 

    Kushner, who has been operating under an interim security clearance for about a year, had his access to the highly classified briefings cut off in the past few weeks, the sources said. 

    The decision to revisit Kushner's - and other White House staff - security clearance comes after major discrepancies were discovered in the aftermath of Staff Secretary Rob Porter's resignation.

    It was recently revealed that dozens of White House aides were still operating with direct access to some of the country's most sensitive material despite not having obtained final permanent clearance.

    Although it is technically within the president's purview to grant Kushner permanent clearance, he has refrained from doing so, entrusting his chief of staff, John Kelly, with the decision.

    "I will let General Kelly make that decision […] I have no doubt he'll make the right decision", Trump was reported saying on Friday.

    White House spokesman Sarah Sanders would not comment on whether Kushner's security clearance issues had been resolved.

    "He's a valued member of the team and he will continue to do the important work that he's been doing since he started in the administration," she told reporters on Tuesday. 

    Abbe Lowell, Kushner's attorney, said in a statement that the delay is not uncommon. 

    "My inquiries […] have confirmed that there are a dozen or more people at Mr Kushner's level whose process is delayed, that it is not uncommon for this process to take this long in a new administration, that the current backlogs are being addressed, and no concerns were raised about Mr Kushner's application," Lowell said. 

    Foreign Meddling

    According to the Washington Post, officials from at least four countries have "privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner". 

    Among those countries were the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Israel and Mexico, the Post reported.

    Kushner has been forced to repeatedly correct omissions in his "SF-86," the government-wide form used to apply for clearances, as well as his financial disclosure forms, which experts said could delay or even end his chances of earning a clearance through the normal process.

    Kelly issued a statement last week in which he said Kushner would "continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio". 

    SOURCE: News agencies


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