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.