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

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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 (D-Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinGreen group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection Dems press Trump for ‘Buy American’ proposals in infrastructure plan Protesters wearing blue fill hearing to protest Grassley ignoring ‘blue slip rule’ MORE (D-Wis.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichLawmakers scold Trump official over Pacific island trust fund Dem senators tell Trump he doesn’t have ‘legal authority’ to launch preemptive strike on North Korea Overnight Energy: Trump signs solar tariffs | Energy official say ‘bomb cyclone’ justifies coal push | Trump chemical safety pick leaving EPA MORE (D-N.M.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoGreen group backs Sens. Baldwin, Nelson for reelection WHIP LIST: Shutdown looms as Senate lacks votes to pass House spending bill Dem senator: Trump ‘made clear’ that he wants ‘white people to come to our country’ MORE (D-Hawaii), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallWHIP LIST: Shutdown looms as Senate lacks votes to pass House spending bill Dems harden line on stopgap measure Overnight Finance: Shutdown drama grips Capitol | White House backs short-term spending bill | Mulvaney begins consumer bureau shake-up MORE (D-N.M.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerUndiagnosed sleep apnea cause of two rail crashes: NTSB WATCH: Dems say Trump will look like he has something to hide if he avoids Muller interview Protecting the special counsel is an American duty MORE (D-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. It specifically seeks information on the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMeghan McCain: Melania is ‘my favorite Trump, by far’ Dem lawmaker to Trump: ‘How dare you lecture us about treason’ Husband of former Trump family personal aide joins EPA: report MORE.

“We are deeply concerned that high level officials operating under an interim security clearance, like Jared Kushner, read the President’s daily intelligence briefing,” the senators wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have frequently raised concerns that Kushner is operating without a full security clearance.

The letter from Democratic senators echoes concerns voiced in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI from House Democrats.

Both requests come as the White House is embroiled in controversy over its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was operating on a temporary security clearance.

Wray testified to a Senate panel on Tuesday that the FBI completed its background check investigation of Porter in July, and then offered additional information in November and January.

Yet Porter did not lose his job until photos surfaced last week of his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said she got from her husband during a vacation in Italy.

The White House has said it did not know of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until published reports last week, though Wray’s testimony suggests people at the White House should have been aware much earlier.

The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday announced it has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of accusations against Porter, as well as his security clearance.

Another White House official reportedly resigned Wednesday after learning he did not qualify for a full security clearance because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.


Brett Samuels
2018-02-14 14:25:30
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