White House Chief of Staff John Kelly on Friday said he was “having my eyes opened” last September about the number of White House staffers who were still working under interim security clearances.
It was “more people than I was comfortable with,” Kelly said in remarks to reporters at the White House.
He said he asked for help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the process with the aim of getting clearance issues resolved.
Kelly said he was first told of “red flags” on former White House presidential assistant Rob Porter on Feb. 6. Porter subsequently resigned after reports emerged of domestic abuse allegations against him from Porter’s ex-wives. White House officials were notified by the FBI several times last year and this year about problems with Porter being able to receive a permanent White House security clearance.
Emerging stories about Porter’s lack of a permanent White House security clearance led to revelations that dozens of White House employees were operating on interim security clearances, including senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Donald Trump.
Kelly recently ordered a number of those staffers, including Kushner, to operate under a lower-level “secret” clearance designation, instead of an interim clearance that enabled them to view daily “top secret” intelligence reports.
Source: Kuwait News Agency