AP NEWS

Donald Trump ordered Jared Kushner’s security clearance over objection of officials: report

March 1, 2019 GMT

President Donald Trump ordered that his current senior presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner be given a top-level security clearance.

A report in the New York Times citing four people who had knowledge of the matter said Mr. Trump demanded then-chief of staff John Kelly give Mr. Kushner top secret clearance in May, one day after the White House Counsel recommended Kushner be denied.

In memos, Mr. Kelly wrote that he had been “ordered” by the president to give Mr. Kushner the clearance. White House counsel at the time, Donald F. McGahn, wrote that he and the CIA both held concerns with giving Mr. Kushner approval.

If true, this would refute Mr. Trump’s statements made in January that he had no part in Mr. Kushner’s security clearance process.

In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for Mr. Kushner’s attorney Abbe Lowell refuted the claims made by The New York Times.

“In 2018, White House and security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner’s security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone,” the spokesman, Peter Mirijanian, said. “That was conveyed to the media at the time, and new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that they “don’t comment on security clearances.”

Last month, NBC News reported that White House security specialists rejected Mr. Kushner twice before their supervisor, Carl Kline, overruled their decisions. This prompted calls for acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to revoke Mr. Kusher’s status.

Security officials had raised concerns over the financial entanglements Mr. Kushner, a real estate developer by trade, had with foreign entities.