Very few things take the breath away anymore when it comes to the Trump White House, very few. But, hearing that “Kushner requests more secret and top-secret information than almost all White House staff,” did just that, to me. Kushner is the person who prior to the inauguration had already committed a felony (in my eyes) by walking his ass into the Russian embassy seeking to establish a “communications backchannel” to the Kremlin and the Kremlin bank. Keep in mind, what Kushner meant by “backchannel” was “a channel free from American law enforcement detection” because no other utility could be gained by walking straight into the Russian embassy and asking to use their secrete secure line to Moscow. We’re also speaking about the guy that lied – by omission – on his security clearance application form, and not just once, but 100 times, he outright lied about the campaign not having contacts with Wikileaks, failed to disclose a private email account, and had to “change” his financial disclosure form (meaning add things he got caught trying to hide) 39 times!
So it is extremely unnerving to read from the Washington Post:
He holds a broad range of responsibilities, from overseeing peace efforts in the Middle East to improving the efficiency of the federal government. And he is the administration’s interlocutor with key allies, including China and Saudi Arabia, where he has developed a personal relationship with the young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
And apart from staff on the National Security Council, he issues more requests for information to the intelligence community than any White House employee, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.
Apparently John Kelly senses shoes about to drop and has quickly been attempting to provide some sort of process to control the access to such intelligence:
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly announced Friday that beginning next week, the White House will no longer allow some employees with interim security clearances access to top-secret information — a move that could threaten the standing of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law.
It is impossible to think about Kushner and the security risks he brings without considering the MANY financial issues plaguing him and his family, including a $1.2 Billion mortgage payment due next year, a payment which traces itself back to his disastrous purchase of the 666 5th Avenue building for only $50 million down in 2008, on the brink of the real estate bubble. As we reported here, Kushner’s debt rose ominously over the last year, apparently living in Washington on three lines of credit.
Trump RAN for president, in part, on the outrage that Clinton put American assets at risk because she had a private server in her own basement. Yet, Jared Kushner cannot qualify for a security clearance, and is “prince of everything.” There is a reason that Kushner does not have a permanent clearance at this point. It is because the answer is that Jared Kushner is not qualified, but no one wants to tell president Trump that the clearance is denied. So they simply do not “grant” the clearance, making it someone else’s problem.
But now we also have to look at these issues in light of what we learned yesterday with respect to the depth of Russian penetration into our democracy. As one looks at Kushner’s actions, looks at the fact that Russia could easily have “kompromat” over both Trump and Kushner, and now upon seeing Kushner requesting all this information, one can be really cynical and ask: “is THIS why Trump gave Kushner a portfolio that included the Middle East, China and the Muslim community? All to grant Kushner cover for requesting the type of information that Kush could request upon being asked? To then pass it on if requested? It sounds unbelievably cynical and yet it has been a long-running joke, the ridiculousness of assigning so many disparate things to Kushner. Now we hear that Kushner – the person with the most obvious “issues” with respect security – is the person requesting the most classified information?
That is breathtaking.
Trump needs to take the advice of his own lawyers and fire Jared. Of course, our leading theory has been that Trump knows that Kushner does not present any greater risks than Trump himself, because Trump has ordered or ratified all of Kushner’s behavior all along.