Kush­ner’s se­cu­rity clear­ance down­graded per Kelly pol­icy


WASH­ING­TON — The se­cu­rity clear­ance of White House se­nior ad­viser Jared Kush­ner, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son-in-law, has been down­graded, ac­cord­ing to two peo­ple in­formed of the de­ci­sion.

Kush­ner had been op­er­at­ing with an in­terim clear­ance at the “top se­cret/ sen­si­tive com­part­mented in­for­ma­tion” level for more than a year. Now he is only au­tho­rized to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion at the lower “se­cret” level, ac­cord­ing to a White House of­fi­cial and a per­son fa­mil­iar with the de­ci­sion, both of whom spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity. Nei­ther source was au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the de­ci­sion pub­licly.

Chief of staff John Kelly or­dered that White House of­fi­cials with in­terim clear­ances pend­ing since be­fore June 1, 2017, lose their ac­cess to the na­tion’s deep­est se­crets if they hadn’t re­ceived per­ma­nent clear­ances by last Fri­day. A White House of­fi­cial con­firmed to The As­so­ci­ated Press that Kelly’s or­der has been im­ple­mented.

Trump could have re­versed Kelly’s de­ci­sion and uni­lat­er­ally of­fered Kush­ner a clear­ance, but he de­ferred to Kelly.

“I will let Gen­eral Kelly make that de­ci­sion, and he’s go­ing to do what’s right for the coun­try, and I have no doubt he’ll make the right de­ci­sion,” Trump said Fri­day, when he ad­dressed the se­cu­rity clear­ance is­sue for the first time.

Kush­ner’s at­tor­ney told the AP that Kush­ner’s abil­ity to do his job won’t be af­fected by any change to his clear­ance.

“Those in­volved in the process again have con­firmed that there are dozens of peo­ple at Mr. Kush­ner’s level whose process is de­layed, that it is not un­com­mon for these clear­ance re­views to take this long in a new ad­min­is­tra­tion, and that the cur­rent back­logs are now be­ing ad­dressed,” said Peter Mir­i­ja­nian, a Kush­ner spokesman.

Kush­ner is one of dozens of White House aides who have been work­ing with­out per­ma­nent se­cu­rity clear­ances for the bet­ter part of a year.

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