Politics, United States

Kushner Can No Longer Access Top Intelligence Briefings

Kushner Can No Longer Access Top Intelligence Briefings

According to two US officials with knowledge of the matter, US President Donald Trump’s close adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner has lost access to the President’s Daily Brief. The sources said that he has been denied access to the most valued intelligence report in the US because the White House is imposing greater discipline on who has access to sensitive information. They said that for nearly a year, Kushner has been working under an interim security clearance, but in the past few weeks, his access to highly classified briefings has been cut off.

Another official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that White House Counsel Don McGahn had recently gotten new information from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and this had contributed to the slow down or stopping of Kushner’s security clearance application. The nature of this information hasn’t been disclosed. It is also unclear as to when Kushner’s access to PDB, as the briefing is known, will be reinstated, as it requires clearance that’s higher than Top Secret Level. Kushner is married the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump and is a wealthy businessman in his own right. His extensive financial links are also the reason why he hasn’t been granted full security clearance.

His links have been under examination for a long time and he has also had to revise his security clearance form, which is known as SF-86, several times. When reporters asked Trump questions about Kushner and his security clearance at an event on Tuesday, the president did not answer them and just ignored. Abbe Lowell, Jared Kushner’s attorney said that he was doing more in the process than was expected from him. He said that there were a dozen or more people, along with Mr. Kushner’s, who had their process delayed. He added that it was not uncommon for this to take a while in a new administration.

The security clearance issue has become a major problem for Trump’s White House since it came to light this month that Rob Porter, his staff secretary, had been working for him with a temporary clearance for a year even though his two former wives had accused him of domestic abuse. Porter insists that he is innocent. Only a small number of top-level US officials are given the President’s Daily Brief. It comprises of information about any covert operations of the CIA, classified intelligence analysis and reports from allied intelligence agencies or some very sensitive US sources.

Lowell said that the new security clearance policies that had been announced by John Kelly, the White House Chief of Staff, would have no impact whatsoever on Mr. Kushner’s ability to do the work he has been assigned by the President. However, one top US official said that Kushner’s role would become limited in some important policy deliberations like that of Russia and China due to his loss of access to the daily brief. Up until now, Kushner has enjoyed a rather broad portfolio at the White House as he has been leading the Office of American Innovation and also trying to forge a peace deal with the Middle East.

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