Donald Trump ordered top secret security clearance for his son-in-law Jared Kushner

Donald Trump ordered top secret security clearance for his son-in-law Jared Kushner

Donald Trump ordered top secret security clearance for his son-in-law Jared Kushner

Cummings highlighted in his letter a New York Times story that said Trump ordered his former chief of staff John Kelly to provide Kushner with clearance over objections from Kelly and Donald McGahn, then White House counsel.

After Kushner, a senior White House adviser, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, pressured the president to grant Kushner the long-delayed clearance, Trump instructed Kelly to fix the problem, according to a person familiar with Kelly's account, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

Trump directed Kelly to give his senior adviser the security clearance early past year after both Kushner and wife, Ivanka Trump, told the president to intervene in the process, according to The Washington Post.

The newspaper said Kelly wrote in an internal memo that he had been "ordered" to give top-secret clearance to Kushner.

"I was never involved with the security" clearances for Kushner, the president said. During that interview, Trump was asked directly if he had overridden the advice of security officials and ordered that Kushner be given the top-level clearance.

Wednesday's report contradicts Trump's claim in January that he did not have a role in Kushner receiving a clearance.

Asked about the report, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said: "We don't comment on security clearances".

The report states Gen. Kelly and top intelligence officials opposed granting Kushner access to viewing materials sensitive to the nation's security. But in February 2018, White House staffers with such clearances received a downgrade, after the Rob Porter abuse scandal broke.

Adam Schiff, a California Democratic representative and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the security clearance review process will remain a priority for his committee.

The White House and the leader of the House oversight committee are squaring off for what could become a battle royale over security clearances within the Trump administration.

US President Donald Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, right, meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 22, 2018.

At the time, Trump said he would defer the question of Kushner's access to his chief of staff.

Kushner had faced criticism when he did not disclose a meeting with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak while applying for a clearance, according to The Times. He had struggled to obtain even his top-secret clearance, in part because of his contacts with certain foreign government officials, The Post previously reported.

However, Brennan reported that officials in the White House had been concerned that Kushner was "naive and being tricked" in conversations with foreign officials, some of whom said they only wanted to deal with Kushner directly and not more experienced personnel.

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