Politics Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances

23:41  14 february  2018
23:41  14 february  2018 Source:   The Hill

At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November

  At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November Nearly a year into President Donald Trump's administration, senior-level staffers -- including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter -- 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. Having interim clearance can hamper a staffer's ability to perform essential functions of the job, a former administration official said. It requires those with full permanent clearances to remain vigilant about what information is shared with those still operating on an interim basis.

(D-N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances .

“We are writing to obtain information related to the White House ’s interim security clearance process. Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi House Dems furious with Senate leaders Dems want answers on White House security

a group of people standing next to a person in a suit and tie© Provided by The Hill

Six Democratic senators on Wednesday wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for a full list of White House staffers working without a full security clearance.

Loading...

Load Error

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances.

The letter asks for a list of those with interim clearances, as well as the status of FBI background investigations into those individuals. It specifically seeks information on the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

Trump aides are asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail

  Trump aides are asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail Some officials seeking security clearances were asked to provide any info that could be a "source of embarrassment, or be used to coerce or blackmail you."In the wake of Wednesday's report by NBC News that more than 130 White House officials lacked full security clearances as of November, the supplemental questions — which are not part of the standard questionnaire filled out by other government officials — shed light on the sort of information that could raise flags in a background investigation.

The senators specifically asked for guidelines given to the White House regarding the security clearance process, as well as a list of White House officials who have been deemed ineligible for a security clearance , but whose determination was overruled.

Six Democratic senators sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for the names of all White House staff members with interim security clearances , as well as those with completed background checks who are unable to get full clearances .

"We are deeply concerned that high level officials operating under an interim security clearance, like Jared Kushner, read the President's daily intelligence briefing," the senators wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have frequently raised concerns that Kushner is operating without a full security clearance.

The letter from Democratic senators echoes concerns voiced in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI from House Democrats.

Both requests come as the White House is embroiled in controversy over its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was operating on a temporary security clearance.

Wray testified to a Senate panel on Tuesday that the FBI completed its background check investigation of Porter in July, and then offered additional information in November and January.

Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances?

  Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances? Neither the White House nor the FBI is taking responsibility in the high backlog of security clearancesOn Monday, the White House blamed delays in the security clearance process on the FBI, but in another sign of the strain between the bureau and the White House, the FBI responded in a statement that they just conduct the background check, they don't grant security clearances, reports CBS News' Jeff Pegues.

Kushner is able to view extremely sensitive material with his interim security clearance , Politico The White House told Politico it's "completely normal" for someone to work on a temporary security To get a security clearance , an applicant must complete an SF-86 form and list their foreign contacts.

Top White House Official Under Fire Over Denial of Security Clearance . Why was Ben Rhodes the only applicant out of 187 to be rejected for an interim security clearance ?

Yet Porter did not resign until a photo surfaced last week of his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said she got from her husband during a vacation in Italy.

The White House has said it did not know of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until published reports last week, though Wray's testimony suggests people at the White House should have been aware much earlier.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday announced it has launched an investigation into the White House's handling of accusations against Porter, as well as his security clearance.

Another White House official reportedly resigned Wednesday after learning he did not qualify for a full security clearance because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.

Kelly's Handling of Ex-Trump Aide Scrutinized After FBI Account .
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is under increasing scrutiny for his handling of domestic violence allegations against a former top presidential aide after the FBI offered an account of events on Tuesday that conflicted with his narrative. FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Tuesday that the bureau provided the White House the results of a background investigation of former Staff Secretary Rob Porter as early as July. The report included abuse allegations by Porter’s two ex-wives, a person familiar with the matter said.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!