Jared Kushner has lost his temporary “top secret” clearance and has had his access dropped to “secret,” according to CNN. The network displayed video footage of President Donald Trump refusing to answer shouted questions about Kushner’s “top secret” clearance being downgraded. Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade also noted that President Trump ignored questions on Tuesday at 4:09 p.m. ET.
“POTUS exited the Roosevelt Room at 4:09 to the sound of a cacophony of questions from expanded pool. None were answered.”
Philip Mudd, a former FBI senior intelligence advisor who was interviewed by the network, said there is a huge difference between “secret” clearance and “top secret” security clearance. Mudd told CNN that President Donald Trump may have to ask Jared to leave the room during certain times when highly classified information is shared. Mudd warned that there is something really significant about Jared’s background that the FBI can’t reveal, if they cannot offer Kushner “top secret” clearance, with the CNN panelist admitting that even with a shoplifting charge in his background, Philip was able to gain “top secret” clearance from the FBI.
Philip Mudd said, “That tells me that Kushner is in trouble.”
Jared’s security clearance change, as reported by Mediaite, means that Kushner should no longer be allowed to view sensitive documentation that he has previously been able to view as a person who previously enjoyed interim “top secret” clearance. With the FBI’s investigation into Jared expected to wrap up soon, it is not clear why Kushner’s “top secret” access was revoked after he spent 13 months in the White House. The publication notes that Kushner wasn’t the only one to lose his “Top Secret/SCI-level” clearance in the White House, but all of those working at an interim “top secret” level received a memo Friday telling them that they would sink to the “secret level.”
Kusher reportedly fought to keep his “top secret” security clearance, according to the New York Times. Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, claimed that Kushner “has done more than what is expected of him in this process” and that the “top secret” security clearance loss won’t have an effect upon Jared’s “very important work,” as seen in the below Politico article. That claim is being challenged by detractors who are posting questions on social media about how Kushner will be able to continue his various roles in the White House with only “secret” clearance.