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

05:06  15 february  2018
05:06  15 february  2018 Source:   cnn.com

Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances

  Dozens at White House lack permanent security clearances The departure of an aide accused of domestic violence puts background investigations in the spotlight.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.

CNN reported on Wednesday that over 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President who were operating on interim security clearances . White House staffers lacking permanent security clearance reportedly have access to the President’s Daily Brief.

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

a large white building © Win McNamee/Getty Images North America/Getty Images

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.

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.

@Acosta. CNN's Chief White House Correspondent. I believe in #realnews. Washington, DC. You get an interim until your investigation is complete and the clearance is adjudicated. Trump too would be unable to qualify for security clearance . #TrumpCrimeFamily.

There were more than 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President who were operating on interim clearances more than a year after Trump was elected, according Partial list of W.H. officials lacking permanent security clearances as of November 2017, per NBC Ne. MelissaB. Feb 2018.

There were more than 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President who were operating on interim clearances more than a year after Trump was elected, according to the information.

It's not clear which of those staffers gained full clearances in the three months since the information was produced in November. It is also unclear whether the delay is the result of a bureaucratic backlog or potential complications in the background of these aides.

At least two dozen of the staffers with interim clearances started working on the first day of the Trump administration, according to the information.

Some officials who started on January 20, 2017, and were without permanent clearances by November include a special assistant to the president for national security affairs and the National Security Council's senior director for international cybersecurity.

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.

The White House has declined to publicly detail the security clearance process or say which officials are operating on interim or full clearances . The White House did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.

At least 100 White House officials served with ‘ interim ’ security clearances until November . beSpacific 2018-02-14. Item.

Officials familiar with the process have said complicated background checks and a backlog at the start of an administration have slowed the clearance process.

Former congressman Mike Rogers, a Republican who chaired the House Intelligence Committee who has been critical of the Trump administration, said this White House's security clearance policies do not serve the country well.

"The security clearance process is critical to keeping America's secrets," he told CNN. "Foreign intelligence services look for vulnerabilities in individuals with access to our most sensitive information. Not following the process is a disservice not only to the individual but to our countries security interests."

"It's unusual that so many have taken so long," he said.

The White House has declined to publicly detail the security clearance process or say which officials are operating on interim or full clearances. The White House did not respond to CNN's requests for comment.

Trump aides are asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail

  Trump aides are asked if they are vulnerable to blackmail Some officials seeking security clearances were asked to provide any info that could be a "source of embarrassment, or be used to coerce or blackmail you."In the wake of Wednesday's report by NBC News that more than 130 White House officials lacked full security clearances as of November, the supplemental questions — which are not part of the standard questionnaire filled out by other government officials — shed light on the sort of information that could raise flags in a background investigation.

At least two dozen of the staffers with interim clearances started working on the first day of the Trump administration, according to the information. Some officials who started on January 20, 2017, and were without permanent clearances by November include a special assistant to the president for national

B&B @ChandaFinch At least 100 White House officials served with ' interim ' security clearances until November amp.cnn.com. TheDaddy @Joel_Schaffer 100 + White House officials lacked permanent clearance as of November axios.com. Norman Dong @EarthPlannr More than

Paul Light, a New York University professor who is a government bureaucracy expert, said it seems in some cases a "temporary" status ends up meaning "semi-permanent."

"The problem is that these temporary authorizations are lasting longer, or appear to be lasting longer, and that exposes the nation to security risks that we shouldn't have to bear," he said.

Chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway, deputy chief of staff Johnny DeStefano, communications director Hope Hicks and policy adviser Stephen Miller had all received full top-level clearances by November, according to the information.

That stood in contrast to aides of similar stature who remained only on interim clearances. The information indicates the President's daughter Ivanka and her husband Kushner, both serving as senior advisers, were operating with interim access to Top Secret information, as well as Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), in November. Ivanka Trump joined the administration in March, while Kushner joined when Trump entered office in January 2017.

White House portrayal of security office conflicts with its role in past administrations

  White House portrayal of security office conflicts with its role in past administrations Current and former officials say painting the office as a sole arbiter of security-clearance decisions, such as those involving Rob Porter, is misleading.The Trump administration has said staff secretary Rob Porter’s security-clearance investigation remained open because the White House Personnel Security Office, which approves clearances, had not finished its work. Administration officials also have suggested that results of that investigation were closely held within the office, a practice disputed by people who worked on both sides of such investigations in past administrations.

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

Say a lot with a little . When you see a Tweet you love, tap the heart — it lets the person who wrote it know you shared the love. Spread the word. CNN Exclusive: At least 100 White House officials served with ' interim ' security clearances until November - CNN Politicshttps

Top-secret information is defined by the government as anything that, if disclosed unauthorized, would cause "grave damage to the national security." Sensitive Compartmented Information is defined as classified information that's derived from sensitive intelligence sources or methods.

Porter, who served as Trump's staff secretary since he entered office last January, was also on an interim clearance for both top secret and SCI.

Some others had been approved for permanent access to top secret information but were still working off interim access to Sensitive Compartmented Information. That included Don McGahn, the White House counsel, and Sarah Sanders, the press secretary.

The matter of clearances has gained renewed attention after Porter's resignation. On Tuesday, the FBI director said during congressional testimony that his agency had raised issues with Porter's background to the White House at various points over the past year. He nevertheless remained in his post until news outlets detailed his ex-wives' accusations last week.

Porter's replacement, Derek Lyons, was also operating on an interim clearance in November, according to the information obtained by CNN. Lyons served as the deputy staff secretary since the start of the administration.

People familiar with the clearance process have said that staffers who are very wealthy or worked in areas of finance with ties to foreign nationals and governments would also contribute to a delay in the clearance process. Cohn, however, served as president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs and still obtained a full clearance by November.

Kushner's lack of a full clearance has come under scrutiny because of his involvement in a variety of national security matters. His attorney, Abbe Lowell, said in a statement this week "it is not uncommon for this process to take this long in a new administration."

Lowell stated there are "a dozen or more people at Mr. Kushner's level whose process is delayed like his."

Other notable staffers, like former NBC "Apprentice" star Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who has since left the White House, had no security clearance nor applied for one.

WH trying to keep Kushner involved on sensitive issues without Trump's intervention .
<p>The scramble came after chief of staff John Kelly issued a memo declaring the White House will no longer allow some employees with interim security clearances access to top secret information.</p>The scramble came after chief of staff John Kelly issued a memo a week ago declaring the White House will no longer allow some employees with interim security clearances access to top secret information if their background investigation has been pending since before last June — a category Kushner falls into.

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