Two top White House security specialists initially rejected Jared Kushner’s application for top secret clearance due to fears that he was vulnerable to foreign influence, reports NBC News, but the specialists were overruled by their superior. Carl Kline—a career Pentagon employee installed by Team Trump as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President—ultimately overturned an “unprecedented” number of rejected security clearances, writes NBC.
Kushner’s was one of at least 30 cases in which Kline overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said. They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline’s arrival.
Kushner actually sought to get a higher security clearance than the White House could grant so he would be privy to the government’s most highly guarded information, known as “sensitive compartmented information,” or SCI. So after Kline approved Kushner’s top secret clearance, he kicked the application over to the CIA for even higher SCI clearance.
The CIA not only rejected the request, two officials circled back with the White House to question how Kushner even obtained a top secret clearance to begin with. Such a designation gives him access to information that could cause “exceptionally grave damage” to nationally security if it were leaked.
To this day, Kushner reportedly does not hold SCI clearance, but as pr*sident Donald Trump can override that determination and make any information available to Kushner at will. Kushner reportedly had regular access to Trump’s highly classified Presidential Daily Brief during the first year of Trump’s presidency.
Expect to hear more about this horror show in the months to come as Rep. Elijah Cummings wields the power of the Oversight Committee to uncover how Kushner and other Trump officials managed to get their security clearances.