NYT: Kushner resisting restricted access

The New York Times reports that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is in a power struggle with Chief of Staff John Kelly over access to classified information.

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 10:42 AM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 11:01 AM

White House officials Jared Kushner and John Kelly are privately feuding over Kushner's access to classified information despite having only an interim security clearance, according to a report in The New York Times.

The report said Kushner is concerned that Kelly, the chief of staff, had targeted him specifically with a recent directive to overhaul the White House clearance system.

Citing White House officials and others briefed on the matter, the Times reported Tuesday that Kushner is pushing back on giving up access to classified information. Kushner's security clearance has provided the senior White House adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump with highly classified information -- including the Presidential Daily Brief or "PDB" -- despite the fact that he lacks permanent clearance, according to the Times.

Nearly a year into the Trump administration, some senior-level staffers -- including daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband, Kushner -- remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official.

The White House security clearance process has been under scrutiny after former White House staff secretary Rob Porter was forced to resign when allegations of abuse from his previous spouses surfaced. Kelly, under fire over the White House's handling of the domestic abuse allegations against Porter, ordered an overhaul of the security clearance process for current and incoming top administration officials.

In a five-page memo, Kelly called for all background check investigations into potential top White House officials to be delivered directly to the White House Counsel's office by the FBI and for the FBI to share "significant derogatory information" uncovered in the course of investigations into senior staff with the White House within 48 hours, according to a copy of the memo released by the White House.

Kelly also directed his staff to discontinue top level security clearances for any staffer whose background investigation or adjudication process has been pending since before last June. He also requested "status reports" on pending background investigations "at least once a month."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said earlier Tuesday that Kelly's new security clearance directive would not affect Kushner's work as a top White House staffer. Sanders declined to get into Kushner's clearance status but said "nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work Jared is doing."

In a statement later Tuesday, Kelly said he would not comment on security clearances but that he had expressed his confidence in Kushner's 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."

"Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President's agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise," Kelly's statement said.

Abbe Lowell, Kushner's lawyer, said Kushner "has done more than what is expected of him in this process."

"The new policy announced by General Kelly will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President," Lowell added.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
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Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
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Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
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Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1052099

Reported Deaths: 18991
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1221671356
Cuyahoga1070432069
Hamilton781801168
Montgomery50040996
Summit45383909
Lucas40122765
Butler37721570
Stark31437895
Lorain24166473
Warren23885293
Mahoning20905583
Lake20009362
Clermont19441229
Delaware18038130
Licking16124207
Fairfield15708197
Trumbull15585460
Medina14868259
Greene14668236
Clark13634293
Wood12767185
Portage12384196
Allen11328229
Richland11041198
Miami10536214
Muskingum8706127
Wayne8576209
Columbiana8546226
Pickaway8436121
Marion8377135
Tuscarawas8376240
Erie7566154
Hancock6714123
Ross6699146
Geauga6537146
Ashtabula6495165
Scioto6289101
Belmont5626158
Union557647
Lawrence5467102
Jefferson5324147
Huron5307114
Darke5273121
Sandusky5174120
Seneca5124120
Washington5076107
Athens501556
Auglaize475684
Mercer471684
Shelby456090
Knox4387108
Madison422859
Putnam421599
Ashland413188
Fulton409467
Defiance402596
Crawford3872101
Brown386455
Logan372976
Preble370398
Clinton361560
Ottawa356978
Highland347059
Williams326774
Champaign320657
Jackson308451
Guernsey306649
Perry289949
Fayette277848
Morrow275339
Hardin264264
Henry263766
Coshocton259457
Holmes253399
Van Wert239162
Gallia233346
Pike233331
Adams228552
Wyandot227253
Hocking209059
Carroll189247
Paulding168638
Meigs141538
Noble132837
Monroe128841
Morgan106623
Harrison105336
Vinton81514
Unassigned02
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