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Trump: Kelly to decide Kushner security clearance

President Donald Trump said Friday he will not decide himself whether to allow Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to keep...

Posted: Feb 24, 2018 11:29 AM
Updated: Feb 24, 2018 11:29 AM

President Donald Trump said Friday he will not decide himself whether to allow Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to keep his temporary security clearance, telling reporters at the White House he'll leave the matter to his chief of staff John Kelly.

It was Kelly who mandated last week that officials who'd applied for security clearances before July, but haven't yet received permanent access, would be stripped of their interim clearances. That includes Kushner, whose portfolio includes sensitive foreign policy matters like the Middle East and China.

Officials at the White House have been working to devise a plan this week that would allow Kushner to continue in his role handling sensitive foreign policy matters without forcing Trump himself to personally intervene and grant him access to classified information, people familiar with the situation say.

As President, Trump himself could grant any clearance to Kushner. But the President's advisers have determined that taking that step would be drastic and cause deep rifts within the intelligence community and among Trump's top aides.

Kelly, a retired Marine general, has also made it known that Trump's personal intervention would pose a problem and possibly undercut his authority in the West Wing.

Instead, Trump on Friday declared he would leave the matter to his top aide.

"That will be up to General Kelly. General Kelly respects Jared a lot and General Kelly will make that call," Trump said at a news conference. "I won't make that call. I will let the general, who is right here, make that call. Jared is doing some very important things for our country. He gets paid zero."

Kushner has been unable to obtain a full security clearance in part because of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN earlier this week. Kushner is unlikely to obtain the full clearance as long as the special counsel's probe is ongoing, one of the sources said.

Trump slammed the background check system on Friday, calling it a "broken system."

"It shouldn't take this long," Trump said.

Multiple White House officials have said the complications with Kushner's security clearance have only exacerbated his frustration with Kelly, who has privately disregarded Kushner and Ivanka Trump as unserious and meddling.

Trump, however, has given Kelly his full support in efforts to reform the White House's system of security clearances, and has told his chief of staff that changes need to be made to bring the system into order, according to a person who has spoken to him about the matter. Kelly has interpreted that as a wide-ranging mandate that would include Kushner, a person familiar with the matter said. The person said Trump and Kelly would likely discuss the matter this week, if they haven't already, before Kelly's self-imposed Friday deadline.

Trump opened his answer Friday by lauding Kushner.

"Well, Jared has done an outstanding job, I think he has been treated very unfairly," Trump said. "He works for nothing."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 34622

Reported Deaths: 1215
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds269748
DeSoto181818
Madison138236
Jones117349
Harrison104014
Rankin103515
Neshoba102274
Lauderdale94281
Forrest93943
Scott79215
Jackson72717
Washington64310
Copiah63115
Leake61320
Lee58621
Holmes57341
Oktibbeha56828
Wayne55416
Warren55320
Yazoo5436
Grenada5357
Lowndes52613
Leflore52256
Lincoln50935
Lamar5027
Pike47020
Sunflower4528
Lafayette4374
Monroe43635
Covington4195
Panola3996
Bolivar38018
Attala37524
Simpson3733
Newton35710
Adams34019
Pontotoc3266
Tate32313
Marion31312
Claiborne29310
Chickasaw29219
Winston28711
Pearl River27632
Noxubee2758
Marshall2693
Jasper2676
Clay25511
Union23811
Smith23412
Walthall2267
Coahoma2156
Clarke21425
Lawrence1992
Yalobusha1938
Kemper18014
Carroll17311
Tallahatchie1664
Humphreys15910
Montgomery1493
Calhoun1475
Tippah14411
Itawamba1418
Hancock13813
Webster12811
Tunica1193
Jefferson1173
Jefferson Davis1164
Prentiss1123
Greene10810
Amite1063
George1023
Wilkinson959
Tishomingo921
Quitman891
Alcorn852
Perry764
Choctaw754
Stone732
Franklin492
Benton420
Sharkey420
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6030162
Mobile4418137
Montgomery4339109
Tuscaloosa254448
Madison19078
Marshall186611
Shelby150924
Lee149437
Morgan12205
Baldwin111410
Walker105127
Elmore98919
Dallas9639
Franklin92216
Etowah88214
DeKalb8416
Chambers65727
Russell6570
Autauga65313
Butler64328
Tallapoosa61669
Unassigned58626
Limestone5741
Houston5526
Cullman5395
Lauderdale5376
Lowndes48022
St. Clair4692
Colbert4656
Pike4595
Escambia4528
Calhoun4365
Coffee4074
Covington39911
Jackson3742
Bullock37010
Barbour3672
Dale3621
Talladega3497
Hale33722
Marengo33011
Wilcox2968
Clarke2946
Winston2893
Chilton2872
Sumter28512
Blount2731
Pickens2556
Monroe2492
Marion24514
Randolph2449
Conecuh2277
Perry2091
Bibb2081
Macon2069
Choctaw20212
Greene1928
Henry1433
Crenshaw1273
Washington1277
Lawrence1170
Cherokee1127
Geneva920
Lamar811
Fayette781
Clay742
Coosa621
Cleburne411
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