President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner had access to top-secret security briefings and some of the most sensitive material to land on Trump’s desk , but now that’s changed. According to a breaking news report from POLITICO, Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded.
Kushner’s lawyers reportedly confirmed the news.
The move comes as chief of staff John Kelly reels from the fallout of a scandal surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, which revealed that dozens of White House aides had access to U.S. secrets without the proper credentials. Those aides had their security clearances downgraded as well.
Friday’s decision is the first change to the clearance process instituted in the wake of the Porter debacle that will directly affect Kushner, who serves as a senior adviser to Trump and has until now had access to the president’s daily brief, the most highly-classified document that Trump sees.
Kelly took the rare step last week of issuing a public statement that Kushner would be able to continue his work in the White House unfettered.
“As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in the statement.
Scrutiny over the security clearance of White House aides heightened after the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee launched an investigation into how Porter was able to handle the sensitive and classified documents for more over a year without a permanent security clearance. Porter was forced out of the White House when reports emerged that he physically and emotionally abused two former wives. The White House was rocked by questions over how it allowed Porter to continue in his top-level post despite the FBI’s discovery of the abuse allegations months ago.
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