Kushner, Ivanka Trump Lacked Permanent Security Clearance

And they're far from alone in Trump's White House
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2018 6:04 PM CST
Kushner, Ivanka Trump Lacked Permanent Security Clearance
Ivanka Trump and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner listen as President Donald Trump announces that the United States will designate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As of November, Ivanka Trump didn't have a permanent security clearance. Neither did Jared Kushner or Sarah Huckabee Sanders. They were among more than 130 political appointees working in the Executive Office of the President with only some form of temporary security clearance by President Trump's 10th month in office, NBC News reports. Documents reveal 85 political appointees in the White House, vice president's office, and National Security Council didn't have permanent security clearances. Same with 50 appointees in the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and other offices tied to the West Wing. Big names include Trump's social media director Dan Scavino, his assistant for strategic initiatives Christopher Lidell, top White House counsel Don McGahn, and deputy press secretary Raj Shah.

It's unclear why so many Trump appointees lack permanent security clearances—whether it's due to glacial bureaucracy or issues with their backgrounds—but a former administration official tells CNN that lack of permanent clearances can make it harder for appointees and those around them to do their jobs. "The security clearance process is critical to keeping America's secrets," former Republican lawmaker Mike Rogers says. "It's unusual that so many have taken so long." Meanwhile, Salon wonders if Kushner's debt—he and Ivanka Trump are reportedly in debt anywhere between $31 million and $155 million—combined with his lack of permanent clearance makes him a danger to national security. Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy has called for an investigation into White House security clearances following staff secretary Rob Porter's resignation over domestic violence allegations. (Read more security clearance stories.)

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