Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Jared Kushner granted security clearance after painful process

Jared Kushner senior White House adviser at the White House in Washington Jared Kushner senior White House adviser at the White House in Washington
Oscar Goodwin | 24 May, 2018, 09:10

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation also affected Kushner's status in the White House, as some aspects of his inquiry related to Kushner's role during the presidential campaign through the presidency itself, including contacts with Russians and the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. The interview did not deal with Kushner's finances or his companies, he said.

Kushner, who maintains a wide-ranging White House portfolio that includes leading the administration's Middle East policy, lost his clearance under a new set of White House procedures implemented after a top White House aide, Rob Porter, was permitted to remain in his position for months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered allegations of spousal abuse against him. This caps a almost 18- month review of his security application, which was held up after Kushner failed to disclose contacts he had with foreign officials - including Russians - as required by law. But Kushner's troubles were compounded at least in part because his initial security clearance application didn't list dozens of foreign contacts that he later included in updated submissions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"With respect to the news about his clearances, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process", Mr. Lowell said. "Having completed all of these processes, he is looking to continue to do the work the President has asked him to do".

Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Lowell refused to repeat the exact questions Kushner was asked by the special counsel, but he did share the topics they discussed.

The granting of the security clearance suggests that investigators' scrutiny of Kushner has decreased significantly.

Kushner had to file three updates to his national security questionnaire, a form that guides the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and asks for voluminous information about a person's employment history, finances, family, travel and other matters. The classified materials included Trump's daily intelligence briefing. At the time, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News that Kushner's downgraded clearance may still allow him access to sensitive information, but details were never clarified.

Kushner's initial SF-86 form did not mention any foreign contacts, though he quickly supplemented it to indicate that he would provide that information. Then, in June, Kushner filed a third addendum acknowledging a meeting he had in June 2016 at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

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