White House downgrades security clearance for Jared Kushner, 30 others

UPDATE — 3/7, 1:59 p.m. EST: ABC News is reporting “several” White House staff members have or will be fired for their inability to pass a background check and receive security clearance.

Among those whose job has been terminated includes a member of the Office of the First Lady.


Ten days after the White House announced it would end interim security clearance for some aides, sources have revealed President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is among over 30 administration staffers who lost access to highly-classified daily intelligence briefings.

Prior to last week’s decision to downgrade, Kushner’s security clearance had been “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information,” (TS/SCI) and enabled him to view the President’s Daily Brief (PDB).

The PDB is a daily highly-classified intelligence analysis for the president and top-level US officials authorized under TS/SCI clearance.  It is prepared for the president by the Director of National Intelligence.

According to a those familiar with a White House memo dated Feb. 23, Kushner, who had TS/SCI clearance on an interim basis, has been granted lesser security privileges.  The young New York real estate investor has been delayed in receiving a permanent clearance given his family’s widespread financial dealings which has required him to resubmit an application form numerous times.

Asked about Kushner specifically, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the administration does not publicly comment on aides’ security clearance and said “he will continue to do the important work that he’s been doing since he started in the administration.”

Despite Trump’s ability to continue to show his son-in-law TS/SCI material, national security lawyer Bradley Moss says White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s decision to revoke Kushner’s privileges will effect his work.

“He cannot see the PDB, not a chance,” Moss said. “He no longer has access to a range of intelligence information that ordinarily someone in his position and somebody with his responsibilities would normally be privy to in order to perform their functions.”

The barring of Kushner and 30 others from top security clearance by Kelly follows the resignation of former aide Rob Porter, who also had been granted a temporary clearance and left his post in the administration after it was revealed he had been accused by two ex-spouses of domestic abuse.


[Roll Call] [Bloomberg] [Politico] [Reuters] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via Politico]

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