Jared Kushner still has no permanent security clearance even after more than a year of working as President Donald Trump’s top adviser — something observers warn is uniquely unprecedented in modern American politics, according to Newsweek.
The focal point on Kushner’s permanent security clearance has received renewed attention in light of the recent damaging White House scandals, which has seen two staffers being accused of verbal and physical abuse by their ex-partners. One of them, Rob Porter, was forced to resign earlier on Wednesday after one of his ex-wives, Colbie Holderness, provided The Intercept with a photo of herself with a black eye and a swollen cheek.
Several reports later claimed that White House chief of staff John Kelly was aware of Porter’s history because the FBI declined to hand him a permanent security clearance. Despite knowing about the alleged abuse, Kelly refrained from taking any action against Porter, a move which was widely panned by critics. Kelly later issued a statement saying that he was “shocked” to learn about Porter’s history of abuse even as reports claimed that he had been aware of it for a substantial period of time.
“There were high expectations that, with such gravitas and authority, [John Kelly] would be the grownup in the room, smoothing the rough edges off the would-be authoritarian Trump,” Chris Whipple, who has worked extensively with modern-day White House chiefs of staff, told The Guardian.
“It’s been the opposite: Kelly has reinforced Trump’s worst instincts. Trump is a human wrecking ball and Kelly is his biggest enabler.”
Senior White House aide Rob Porter physically assaulted two ex-wives, they tell @theintercept. Full story to come in the morning.— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) February 7, 2018
His first wife, Colbie Holderness, provided these photos from a vacation they took together in Florence, Italy: pic.twitter.com/tl3TbyGA8Y
Now that the lack of oversight on the part of senior members of the White House has once again led to an embarrassing situation, eyes have now turned on Jared Kushner, who has previously been panned for being instrumental in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, as reported by CNBC. Other reports have also suggested that Kushner has been responsible for funneling millions in Russian money into American social media sites through Yuri Milner, who is perceived to have done so on the orders of the Kremlin.
But perhaps what has increased the scrutiny more than anything else on Kushner is the fact that he has never been upfront about his extensive foreign ties. The senior White House adviser has amended his security clearance form multiple times as and when his connections have come to light, leading many observers to believe that he has something to hide.
Only time will tell if Jared Kushner has not been granted a permanent security clearance by the FBI because they have something on him, but the mere fact that it is taking them so long must be worrying for a White House already dealing with so many reported problems.