Trump says security clearance process is actually too rigorous

Trump says security clearance process is actually too rigorous

President Donald Trump on Friday issued a rambling defense of Jared Kushner after he was asked if his son-in-law should still be able to access classified information even if he does not receive a full security clearance.

The disclosure marked the latest development in an ongoing drama over Kushner's clearance, which has been held up amid questions about his background check.

Kushner's clearance has run into a number of delays over the past year.

Kelly also wrote that he would be curtailing "access to certain highly classified information for those individuals working with interim clearance status" unless he will grant 'only in the most compelling circumstances'. "He is working on peace in the Middle East". Kelly has told associates he wants the matter resolved, but problems have persisted in granting him a full clearance.

Security clearance determinations are conducted by the White House Personnel Security Office, based on background checks conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Kelly last week announced that he will revoke top clearances for any aide with an interim security clearance whose background check has been pending since last June or earlier. People familiar with the February 9 call said Rosenstein was returning a White House phone call seeking guidance on the status of his background investigation, among those of others.

Since White House aide Rob Porter was forced to resign from his position because of his history of domestic violence, the world has learned a lot about how the White House has been employing people with interim security clearances.

Dozens killed as Taliban, IS launch multiple attacks across Afghanistan
A week earlier, militants had killed more than 20 people, including four Americans, in an attack on one of the city's top hotels. Militants including the Taliban and the IS group have stepped up their attacks on Afghan troops and police in recent months.

Kushner has been working in the West Wing for 13 months without a permanent security clearance, aided by an interim clearance that is set to expire at the end of the day.

That would theoretically affect access for Kushner, who for the past year has read the president's daily intelligence brief on a regular basis.

Administration officials are said to be examining ways that Kushner can continue to be engaged in sensitive discussions and his diplomatic missions, which have also included China, without needing a top-level security clearance. But Trump made clear Friday he would not be intervening.

"That will be up to General Kelly. I won't make that call".

So far, the Trump administration's decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has only resulted in condemnation from Palestinian leaders, who have shown no indication that they are now more willing to work out a peace deal because of it.

During Friday's news conference he said, "We can not get a better representative" than Ivanka Trump in South Korea.

Kushner is now working at the White House with a temporary security clearance and felt personally targeted by Kelly's decision.

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