President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner was denied security clearance last year due to alleged concerns of possible foreign influences and private business interests, The Hill informs, citing a Wednesday report.
According to sources, Kushner was identified as “Senior White House Official 1,” identified in House Oversight Committee documents released this week, whose security clearance was denied by career officials and later by the head of the White House’s personnel security office.
Representative Elijah Cummings, who helms the House Oversight Committee, released a memo Monday in which Tricia Newbold, a whistleblower who has worked as a career official in the Executive Office of the President for 18 years, alleges that her and the recommendations of her colleagues not to grant 25 individuals security clearance were overruled by the Trump administration.
The Washington Post wrote on Wednesday that Newbold also said Kushner’s background investigation raised red flags and determined that he had too many “significant disqualifying factors” to receive a clearance. It also raised concerns about Kushner’s access to government secrets.
The President’s son-in-law was granted security clearance after Trump directed former chief of staff John Kelly to do so over concerns expressed by intelligence officials.
“It’s a big deal,” said David Kris, a senior former Justice Department official about the issues raised during Kushner’s background check. “The kinds of concerns that she mentioned are very serious. Senior staff at the White House — and particularly relatives of the U.S. president — are incredibly attractive targets for our adversaries seeking to gather intelligence or exert covert influence.”
Kushner refused to comment on the matter, saying only that he did not pose a security threat. ““But I can say over the last two years that I’ve been here, I’ve been accused of all different types of things, and all of those things have turned out to be false,” Kushner said in an interview with Fox News.