Rob Porter had a very bright future indeed in the White House before his personal house of cards collapsed on him. John Kelly was ready to promote him to Deputy Chief Of Staff. Porter was going to work side by side with Kelly on immigration reform and a number of other interesting assignments were in the works. Then Porter’s Mr. Hyde persona, which Kelly knew all about by the way, unfortunately came to the forefront. CNN:
Porter had been actively lobbying to take on new policy portfolios outside the traditional scope of the staff secretary, one person familiar with the matter said, which included speechwriting duties and a role in planning policy rollouts. Neither of those tasks is traditionally carried out by the staff secretary.
One of the areas Porter was set to delve further into was trade policy, according to the person. Porter was a regular attendee at a weekly trade meeting among top-level administration officials. He was also being considered for the deputy chief of staff position, another source familiar with the situation said. CNN reported Friday that Jim Carroll, who served as the deputy chief of staff for less than three months, was stepping down to helm the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Several White House officials, including chief of staff John Kelly, were receptive to promoting Porter. Kelly had told associates that Porter was one of the few competent professionals on his staff and wanted to ensure that he was being used to his full potential.
Senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump also viewed Porter as a professional, competent staffer and worked to elevate his standing inside the West Wing, two sources familiar with the situation said.

Jared Kusner may have been prone to like Porter because he sensed a kindred spirit, in that neither one of them seemed to be able to get a security clearance approved. Porter’s problem in that area is no more, his clearance was never denied, he just resigned before it could be denied. As to Kushner’s — his clearance has taken an inordinate amount of time to be considered and still the matter isn’t resolved. Washington Post:

It’s not clear why Kushner hasn’t been given permanent clearance, but he has been a key figure in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, and his shoddy personal financial disclosures and complicated finances could also be part of the reason. Given that the process usually takes a matter of months — and often less for high-level staffers like Kushner — it seems possible some red flags have turned up for Kushner, as they did for Porter.

Exactly what those red flags might be or how potentially bad they might be are the big questions. What we know is that something has prevented him from gaining permanent clearance for 15 months, which is an inordinate amount of time.

Given that and the still-roiling Porter scandal, expect renewed focus on Kushner’s clearance and questions about whether he should be dealing with classified information. And more troubling for the White House: Expect more questions about precisely why he still doesn’t have permanent access.

Kushner may be denied full access to classified information, unless and until he gets a security clearance.

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