Kushner Tries to Keep Access Despite Interim Security Clearance

Jared Kushner

Kushner is one of dozens of White House officials operating under interim security clearances because of issues raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during their background checks - and in the wake of the resignation of top aide Rob Porter amid domestic abuse allegations, the Times reported, citing unnamed officials.

As the Times reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman wrote, Kushner has been "frustrated about the security clearance issue" and felt like Kelly "has targeted him personally".

One White House official speculated that the security clearance restriction could also serve as a way for Kelly to limit Kushner's access to the President, because he would be restricted from attending certain briefings or participating in sensitive conversations.

For the last 13 months the husband of Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka has been operating with a temporary security status because of issues raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during background checks.

Jared Kusnher is said to be resisting an internal push at the White House to clamp down on the flow of classified information among staffers who do not hold a full security clearance, The New York Times reported Tuesday night.

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Abbe Lowell, Kushner's lawyer, said the senior official "has done more than what is expected of him in this process". But Mr. Kelly, who has been privately dismissive of Mr. Kushner since taking the post of chief of staff but has rarely taken him on directly, has made no guarantees. Kelly has interpreted that as a wide-ranging mandate that would include Kushner, a person familiar with the matter said. The President also told Kelly privately that he has his support, adding that he "had a hell of a week" and emerged stronger.

The White House maintains that Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change, but won't explain why.

The chief of staff has denied singling out Kushner, saying in a statement cited by The Times: "As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio".

When asked by The New York Times previous year if he would fire Mueller for looking at his family's finances, Trump was noncommittal.

(L-R) Jared Kushner, White House Senior Adviser and son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, listens during a meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional members in the Cabinet Room of the White House February 13, 2018 in Washington, DC. "There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", Kelly said.

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