Trump Says Chief of Staff Will Decide on Kushner's Security Clearance


Trump Says Chief of Staff Will Decide on Kushner's Security Clearance

"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 during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, where he addressed the security clearance issue for the first time.

The overhaul includes a crackdown on interim security clearances, something that could affect Kushner, who has been working without a permanent security clearance. Kushner has also come under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Those who have been operating with interim access to top secret information since before June are set to see that access halted Friday under a new policy enacted last week by chief of staff John Kelly. Both the White House and Kushner's lawyer have insisted that, regardless of any action taken by Kelly, Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change.

"SCI" refers to 'Secure Compartmented Information, the most sensitive material in US government has. Kelly expressed frustration with Kushner's access to classified material on an extended interim clearance, according to the official. He also shoulders some of the White House's burden on matters touching Canada, China and Mexico. That job could require access to at least some classified intelligence. For a time, it looked like Kelly might have to follow him out the door, and Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump were urging President Trump to replace him with more of a pushover, Vanity Fair reports.

That seems to suggest that he can perform his duties without any access to classified information at all. He works for nothing. "Nobody ever reports that", Trump said.

Mr Trump has made achieving lasting peace in the region a key aim for his administration, and on Friday said an agreement for Middle East peace was "the toughest deal of any deal there is".

White House officials have been trying to smooth over the dispute in a way that would allow Mr. Kushner to continue his work, the source familiar with the matter said.

Trump wants to do what he wants when he wants, and one gets the sense that although Kelly has been incredibly weak as the chief of staff, he is still the only person providing even shred of order to the chaos that is this administration. 'People with not a problem in the world.

"That'll be up to General Kelly".

'General Kelly respects Jared a lot, ' he added.

The day before Rosenstein's call to McGahn, The Washington Post reported that Kushner was among dozens of White House personnel who were relying on interim clearances while their FBI background investigations were pending.



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