Seriously, what the F is wrong with our president?

[Jared Kushner] was also added to a list of recipients of the President’s Daily Brief, or P.D.B., a top-secret digest of the U.S. government’s most closely held and compartmentalized intelligence reports. By the end of the Obama Administration, seven White House officials were authorized to receive the same version of the P.D.B. that appeared on the President’s iPad. The Trump Administration expanded the number to as many as fourteen people, including Kushner.

A former senior official said, of the growing P.D.B. distribution list, “It got out of control. Everybody thought it was cool. They wanted to be cool.

That is how our president conducts our nation’s business and regards our highest secrets.

Just to be clear, by the way, this is the exact opposite of how federal clearances are supposed to work.  You are given up to the level you need—and only that level—and even then, information is only given to you on an “as needed” basis.

I held a Top Secret clearance for many years when I worked in government contracting. The process took over a year of interviews, background checks, and a ton of paperwork. The moment I wasn’t needed on a particular project, it was dropped. Even when I had it, I couldn’t just go fishing for other information in other areas—you only get the information you need to know.  I certainly couldn’t have gotten secret intel just because I wanted to look cool. But that’s where we are.

Kushner’s presence is especially galling. He is an open security risk who still has not been granted a full security clearance as of yet (for reasons you can probably imagine). Top officials normally get their clearances “expedited”, but one year later, Kushner still is on an interim clearance. The article goes on to state that David Priess, a former C.I.A. officer who delivered the P.D.B. during the George W. Bush Administration, calls Kushner’s situation “unprecedented”. No other person has been a designated recipient of the P.D.B. for such a long length of time without having a full security clearance.

I would say with that kind of recklessness, our secrets could get easily get out to our enemies.  But given the fact that Trump thinks nothing of blurting out the highly classified information from these briefings to the Russians anyway, it’s a probably a moot point.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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