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Politics Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances

06:16  09 february  2018
06:16  09 february  2018 Source:   msn.com

As Jared Kushner’s security clearance is delayed, White House hesitates to act on others with possible problems

  As Jared Kushner’s security clearance is delayed, White House hesitates to act on others with possible problems Dozens of officials are still using interim clearances, though Kushner’s is causing significant consternation.Dozens of White House employees, including Kushner, are still waiting for permanent clearances and have been operating for months on a temporary status that allows them to handle sensitive information while the FBI probes their backgrounds, U.S. officials have said. Two U.S. officials said they do not expect Kushner to receive a permanent security clearance in the near future.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

Donald J. Trump wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a red curtain: Rob Porter, left, was President Trump’s White House staff secretary until he resigned after accusations of domestic violence. © Jonathan Ernst/Reuters Rob Porter, left, was President Trump’s White House staff secretary until he resigned after accusations of domestic violence.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

People familiar with the security-clearance process said one of those White House officials with an interim approval is Jared Kushner — the president’s son-in-law and one of his most influential advisers.

Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances?

  Why do so many top White House officials lack full security clearances? Neither the White House nor the FBI is taking responsibility in the high backlog of security clearancesOn Monday, the White House blamed delays in the security clearance process on the FBI, but in another sign of the strain between the bureau and the White House, the FBI responded in a statement that they just conduct the background check, they don't grant security clearances, reports CBS News' Jeff Pegues.

The Republican House recently passed a Homeland Security reauthorization bill with a rider that allows Trump to send armed WhiteHouse created by Seashells at 02/09/2018 06:20 AM.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials. People familiar with the

The issue of clearances has become a major area of concern since White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after allegations surfaced that he had been violent toward his two ex-wives — accusations he has denied.

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White House spokesman Raj Shah defended the administration’s handling of the matter, saying it was following proper procedure in letting the investigation proceed.

“We should not short-circuit an investigation just because allegations are made,’’ he said. “The truth must be determined, and that is what was going on with Rob Porter.”

Porter, according to officials, was interviewed by the FBI in September, when he was asked about the alleged domestic violence. Shah added that Porter received “no special treatment” in the handling of his case.

Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances

  Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances Six Democratic senators on Wednesday wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for a full list of White House staffers working without a full security clearance.Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Cory Booker (N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances.The letter asks for a list of those with interim clearances, as well as the status of FBI background investigations into those individuals.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

www.washingtonpost.com/world/national- security / dozens - at - white - house -lack- permanent - security - clearances /2018/02/08/50e3cfd6-0d15-11e8-8890-372e2047c935_story.html … Stupid question maybe but does someone who wants to run for president have to be able to get security clearance ?

National security lawyer Mark Zaid, who represents government employees going through the security-clearance process, said it is not necessarily sinister that dozens of White House employees lack clearance. He said the Trump White House, in particular, might be going through the clearance process slowly because those working there have not previously been in government and their extensive foreign and business ties take additional time to explore. Zaid said people often operate with interim clearances for months.

Of Porter, Zaid said the accusations he faces — while “abhorrent” — might not be automatically disqualifying if he put forth evidence to rebut or mitigate them that the FBI would then have to examine. He also noted that the clearance process is intentionally shrouded in secrecy. FBI agents communicate their findings to the White House Security Office, which determines whether a person should get a clearance. No one else should be told what the FBI has found — save for the employee in question, who would normally be given a chance to step aside rather than face rejection.

Another White House Official Just Resigned Because He Couldn’t Get a Security Clearance

  Another White House Official Just Resigned Because He Couldn’t Get a Security Clearance A senior White House official resigned Wednesday after learning that his past marijuana use would keep him from receiving a security clearance, according to a Politico report. A senior White House official resigned Wednesday after learning that his past marijuana use would keep him from receiving a security clearance, according to a Politico report.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

Dozens of employees have been working at the White House and handling sensitive information without permanent security clearance , according to a new report. The staffers have been granted temporary approvals while the FBI clears the backlog of background checks

“Technically speaking, there’s not really supposed to be a sharing of information along the way, at least not specific information, because people have privacy rights,” Zaid said.

Good-government advocates have long been critical of the security-clearance process. The U.S. Government Accountability Office last month added the system to its “high risk” list of federal areas in need of reform, noting that executive branch agencies were “unable to investigate and process personnel security clearances in a timely manner, contributing to a significant backlog of background investigations.”

That backlog, the GAO said, totaled more than 700,000 cases as of September 2017. The GAO noted that it raised similar concerns more than a decade earlier.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have tried to press the issue regarding the Trump White House, though Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said in a letter Thursday that their efforts have been largely stymied.

The White House, Cummings wrote, had not responded to his requests for information related to several officials’ security clearances, and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the Republican chairman of the committee, had blocked any move toward a subpoena.

At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November

  At least 100 White House officials served with 'interim' security clearances until November Nearly a year into President Donald Trump's administration, senior-level staffers -- including Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and Rob Porter -- remained on interim clearances even as other senior advisers were granted full security access, according to information obtained by CNN from a US government official. Having interim clearance can hamper a staffer's ability to perform essential functions of the job, a former administration official said. It requires those with full permanent clearances to remain vigilant about what information is shared with those still operating on an interim basis.

Dozens of White House employees are awaiting permanent security clearances and have been working for months with temporary approvals to handle sensitive information while the FBI continues to probe their backgrounds, according to U.S. officials.

Report: Dozens of White House Staffers Still Lack Full Security Clearances . The most prominent member of the White House staff still waiting for a permanent security clearance is the president’s son-in-law, Senior Adviser Jared Kushner.

Citing Porter’s case, Cummings asked Gowdy to support a new bid for documents.

“Mr. Porter’s case is only the latest example of requests made by Democratic Members to conduct oversight of the security clearance process,” Cummings wrote. “You have also refused requests to obtain documents regarding the security clearances of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, his son Michael Flynn Jr., Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, and others.”

Kushner’s situation has drawn intense scrutiny, in part because his conduct is under investigation as part of the probe into possible Russian coordination with Trump associates and because he has repeatedly amended disclosure forms to add new information.

It is unusual for senior White House personnel to wait more than three months for a permanent top secret/sensitive compartmented information clearance though it has happened, said a former senior White House official in the Obama administration familiar with the process.

One senior official in the Obama administration had to wait two years for a variety of reasons, the former official said, but that was a rare case.

“If you’re on the speed track, it can be a matter of four to six weeks,” he said.

In Kushner’s case, his extensive travel and overseas contacts are one reason the clearance process has dragged on, as investigators try to verify his reporting. Another complicating factor is his business interests; as the former head of a real estate company, his finances are more complex than many other incoming government officials.

Nonetheless, at more than a year out, assuming the process began when Kushner was in the transition, “it is longer than it should be,” the former official said. “That just tells me that somebody’s uncomfortable with the information that they have in his background.”

The FBI does not make recommendations to White House officials as to who should or shouldn’t get a clearance, officials said.

A spokesman for Kushner did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.

Security-clearance investigations aim to determine whether individuals pose a risk of revealing sensitive government information, based on a variety of factors, including their loyalty to the country, potential foreign influences in their lives or problems of a sexual, criminal, financial or psychological nature.

If such issues are found, federal guidelines say, they should be assessed in terms of how recently they occurred, how frequently and how likely they are to recur.

Law enforcement officials say the biggest red flags in clearance reviews tend to be when investigators catch a person lying — either on disclosure forms or in face-to-face interviews with agents.

New White House security clearance policy could put ‘bull’s eye’ on Kushner .
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly said he plans to discontinue top-secret access for employees with long-standing interim clearances.Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, has been able to see some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets even as his background investigation has dragged on for more than a year.

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