Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr jared kushner...
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Flickr

A shockingly high number (NBC says 130) of Trump officials have not yet – and thus wonders if they might ever – qualified for permanent security clearances within the White House. The number includes Rob Porter (now gone) who handled every single piece of paper that hit Trump’s desk, one could scarcely think of a position which required a security clearance more than Porter’s staff secretary position. Others  included  without permanent clearances; White House counsel Don McGahn, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah, and — yes — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

That is a significant list.

Especially since those last two seem to hold rather unique positions.

In fact, it is a true wonder that Jared Kushner still works inside the White House. It could well indicate that Jared’s fate is so closely tied to Trump’s that Jared represents no greater risk to Trump inside the White House than out. But, for the country, it appears that Kushner truly does represent a massive security threat.

Setting aside the Kushner financing of the building at 666 5th Ave, known throughout the solar system as to be the worst financing package in Manhattan history, haunting the Kushner family to this day, Jared (and Ivanka’s) debt disclosures made public in July valued simple line of credit debts at $1 million to $5 million apiece and have since been dramatically increased, possibly as high as $140 million dollars. One debt that did drop was the amount owed on a Visa account, down to a range of $50,001 to $100,000, from $100,001 to $250,000. Who in the ever living hell walks around claiming to be rich, but carrying up to six figures in credit card debt?? It appears the couple is funding their lifestyle in D.C., at least in-part on credit cards.

Carrying massive and unstable debt increases one’s security risk, whether working for your local police, or in the White House. And Jared Kushner’s behavior as a whole becomes increasingly worrisome when looked at with his debts in mind.

Kushner met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, to discuss a secret back channel and with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank, VneshEconomBank (VEB). The conversation becomes increasingly ominous when learns that not only did a Trump official secretly meeting with an arm of the Russian government, but that accounts of the meeting itself differ in important ways. The Atlantic’s David Graham noted at the time. “Kushner says he attended the meeting in his capacity as an adviser to President-elect Trump. But VEB says that the meeting concerned Kushner’s family real-estate business.”) And he was present at the now-infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by a Kremlin-connected lawyer.”

To use but one means to put this in perspective, simply try to imagine Chelsea Clinton walking into the Russian embassy and attempting the same thing with a Russian bank, then try to imagine the contortions on Trey Gowdy’s face every morning on Fox and Friends.

The Wall Street Journal reported last summer that Trump’s lawyers had determined that Kushner should resign from his White House position. They believed that Kushner’s reckless behavior and ready-access to the president represented too big a risk to Trump. Trump always does whatever needed to protect Trump, and so one wonders why Trump didn’t act out to protect himself.

One possible explanation won’t settle American stomachs. It’s possible that Trump keeps Kushner close because Trump himself knew of the actions and either ordered them, or affirmed them, and that Kushner’s Russian ties represent no greater security risk than Trump’s own ties. It is quite possible that Trump knows that anyone looking at Jared closely enough will soon learn of Trump’s own criminal ties to Russia, and thus Trump prefers to keep Jared close.

As we have said here before, this administration is surely fully compromised by Russia, and the security clearance issue is just a symptom. It is also a clarion call, that the intelligence services haven’t been fooled.

 

 

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