Security Clearance Scandal Highlights White House Conflicts Of Interest

A White House whistleblower claims the Trump administration granted 25 individuals security clearances after they were denied by career employees.

White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Department of Defense/AP)

White House Advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump (Department of Defense/AP)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has released a memo that reveals some more details about the scope of the White House’s security clearance scandal. Tricia Newbold, who is a manager in the White House’s personnel office and has worked for 18 years in both Democratic and Republican administrations, spoke to the committee last month. She told them that 25 individuals, including two current White House officials, were granted security clearances after they were denied by career employees.

The House Oversight memo states that the reasons for initially denying the clearances included “foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct.” The White House then allegedly overrode those decisions and granted the clearances anyway. House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has said he will issue subpoenas related to the processes that allowed this to take place.

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This comes after multiple reports indicated both Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were granted security clearances by President Trump himself after then-Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn refused to do so. The order to grant Kushner’s clearance was reportedly refused due to concerns from not only Kelly and McGahn but from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

In February, Ivanka Trump claimed that her father played no role in granting either her or Jared Kushner’s security clearances. If these reports are true, that was a lie.

Jared Kushner’s ties to foreign leaders and his business interests abroad have been well documented. Ivanka Trump’s conflicts of interest have also taken center stage throughout her tenure in the White House, as her company continues to be granted Chinese trademarks. Since the hiring of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the Trump administration has shown a blatant indifference to their staff’s conflicts of interest and foreign entanglements. That may be because the President has so many himself.

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News // Donald Trump / Ivanka Trump / Jared Kushner / White House