- Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, was granted a permanent top-secret security clearance on Wednesday following months of uncertainty.
- Kushner’s lawyer said his clearance, an interim version of which was stripped from Kushner in February, was not delayed by his role in the special counsel’s investigation.
- White House officials say the delay was caused by Kushner’s complicated business interests and foreign contacts, as well as administrative backlogs.
Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, was granted a permanent top-secret security clearance on Wednesday following months of uncertainty after he was stripped of his interim clearance in February, multiple news outlets reported.
Kushner, who maintains a wide-ranging White House portfolio that includes leading the administration’s Middle East policy, lost his clearance under a new set of White House procedures implemented after a top White House aide, Rob Porter, was permitted to remain in his position for months after the FBI uncovered allegations of spousal abuse against him.
Under his provisional clearance, Kushner had access to some of the most secret information in the White House, and attended the president’s daily intelligence briefing.
Kushner’s delayed clearance raised questions about his role in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians. White House officials told The Times and CNN that the delay was the result of administrative backlogs as well as Kushner’s finances and foreign ties.
Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s lawyer, told CNN on Wednesday that Kushner met with Mueller’s investigators for the second time in April and answered questions for seven hours. (Kushner was reportedly first interviewed by the special counsel’s team last November.) But, the attorney told The Times, Kushner’s security clearance was not delayed by the special counsel’s investigation.
“With respect to the news about his clearances, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process,” Lowell told The Times. “Having completed all of these processes, he’s looking forward to continuing to do the work the president has asked him to do.”
Kushner’s FBI background check was likely complicated by his failure to include more than 100 foreign contacts and ties he had on his original security clearance application. He has amended his list of contacts multiple times since he joined the White House.
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