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- Jared Kushner’s security clearance has been downgraded to “secret” from “top secret,” which will prevent him from accessing some classified information he was previously able to see.
- Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had been working with a temporary clearance because federal authorities were still investigating whether he should be allowed a permanent pass.
- Earlier this month, the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, implemented new security-clearance guidelines following reports that dozens of staffers had only temporary clearances.
Jared Kushner has lost his top-secret security clearance, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, will no longer have access to some of the government’s most sensitive intelligence documents – materials grouped under an intelligence classification of “top secret/sensitive.”
All White House aides who had interim top-secret clearances were informed on Friday that they would be downgraded to “secret,” Politico said, citing three unnamed sources. CNN and The New York Times followed up with reports confirming the news.
Kushner’s security-clearance status had been up in the air since revelations that Rob Porter, who was ousted as White House staff secretary earlier this month, was operating under a temporary clearance amid an investigation into two of his ex-wives’ allegations of domestic abuse.
Dozens of other White House staffers have had their permanent security clearances delayed since joining the Trump administration.
The Washington Post reported that earlier this month Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called the White House to inform Don McGahn, the general counsel, that “significant information” related to Kushner needed further investigation, thereby delaying the approval of a full, permanent security clearance.
Kushner’s interim clearance allowed him to access some of the same classified information Trump sees.
When pressed last week on whether he would allow Kushner to continue working on a temporary clearance, Trump said he would leave that decision to John Kelly, the White House chief of staff. But according to Politico, Kelly did not sign last Friday’s memo.
Since July, when reports emerged that Kushner had added more than 100 names to a list of foreign contacts on a form in his security-clearance application, Democrats have regularly called for revoking Kushner’s clearance.
After the Porter scandal and amid scrutiny of the Trump administration’s security-clearance process, Kelly instituted new guidelines that he said would help close some loopholes.
“In ordinary circumstances, the existing processes we inherited, along with the reforms I have implemented in the past months, have generally worked well,” Kelly said in a memo on February 16. “But recent events have exposed some remaining shortcomings.”