Presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner has had his security clearance level downgraded to Secret level, from Top Secret/SCI-level, the nation’s highest. The downgrade is in accordance with new White House policies regarding personnel who have had their security clearances pending since June of last year.
The move bars Kushner from viewing some of the U.S. intelligence community’s most sensitive reports, information that Kushner had previously had access to.
Kushner had been receiving top-secret information on an interim clearance level since entering the White House in January of last year. According to reports, Kushner has requested more U.S. intelligence information than any other White House staffer not working for the National Security Council in the time he’s been at the White House. Top Secret/sensitive compartmented information (SCI) security clearance allowed Kushner to review some of the nation’s most sensitive information, including the presidential daily brief.
Individuals with Secret-level clearance are not allowed to view the PDB.
There had been some question as to how Kelly would handle Kushner’s situation considering the wide-reaching portfolio of both foreign and domestic initiatives President Trump had given his son-in-law, and whether a special exception would be made for him. The White House had maintained that Kushner’s ability to work on his portfolio would remain unaffected by any changes, although they wouldn’t explain how.
Kelly, has reportedly been uncomfortable with Kushner’s uncertain security status. Kelly has also quietly expressed a desire to see Kushner and, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, his wife, leave their positions as full-time White House staffers, according to sources.
Publicly, however, Kushner has expressed confidence in Kushner’s ability to accomplish the tasks President Trump has charged him with regardless of his top-secret security clearance status. “As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in a statement last week.
“Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president’s agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise,” he added.