Jared Kushner Lacks Clearance to Do His Job

Blanche Robertson
July 14, 2018

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and top adviser to President Trump, reportedly does not have a security clearance to view the nation's most closely guarded secrets.

For the first year of the Trump administration, President Donald Trump's son-in-law had almost blanket access to highly classified intelligence with just an interim security clearance while he waited for his background check.

He, among other top Trump administration officials, had their interim security clearances downgraded by White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE after it was revealed they had been able to access classified information for months under the temporary clearances.

He is still unable to access information limited to a higher level of clearance, known as "sensitive compartmented information", or SCI, which includes some of the information contained in the president's daily intelligence briefing about ongoing operations.

That has blocked Kushner at times from seeing some parts of the President's Daily Brief, a highly classified summary of world events that sometimes describes intelligence programs and operatives, the people said.

Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who specializes in security clearances, said, "I think it would severely hamper his ability to do his job".

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White House officials and a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman declined to comment to The Post for its report, citing policies of not commenting on personnel issues.

The reasons for the curbs on Kushner's access to intelligence were not immediately clear, including whether there was any relation to the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian tampering with the 2016 United States election, the Post said. He was granted a permanent clearance in May. "Whether practically it is hampering him, it's hard to say in each case". Kushner may have received his clearance that way. The Post said Lowell declined to confirm Kushner's clearance level but said it was adequate for him to perform his job. "In extreme cases, the president can override things and say, 'I want him here for this meeting'".

"With respect to the news about his permanent security clearance, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by career officials, and went through the normal process", Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement.

Still, questions were raised over Kushner's involvement in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE's probe and if the investigation was holding up his background checks.

"I could go play softball without my glove, but I would be hampered and not performing my best as an outfielder", Zaid said, adding that trying to negotiate Middle East peace would be extremely hard.

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