Economy

Trump adviser Jared Kushner gets permanent security clearance

Trump adviser Jared Kushner gets permanent security clearance

Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, met not once but twice with the special counsel's office investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, Kushner's lawyer stated Wednesday.

He said the Kushner's application was "properly" submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process. Chief of staff John Kelly shook up the clearance process at the time following the resignation of former White House aide Rob Porter, who maintained the check after he was accused of physically assaulting several past spouses.

He said his client was "looking forward to continuing to do the work the president has asked him to do".

Kushner was among several White House officials who spent the first year of the administration working on provisional clearances, meaning he was allowed to view classified information while his Federal Bureau of Investigation background check was pending, the daily said.

The granting of the security clearance suggests that investigators' scrutiny of Kushner has decreased significantly.

Kushner's clearance has been contested over the last few months after he was stripped of his credentials in February.

The news came hours after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to comment at a congressional hearing on Kushner's ability to operate as a Mideast peace envoy without access to high-level, classified information.

Susan Walsh  AP
Susan Walsh AP

Kushner has had two interview sessions with the special counsel's team.

Lowell, in a statement, said Kushner has cooperated fully with the investigation, including sitting for two interviews with the special counsel's office.

"In each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did whatever he could to expedite the conclusion of the investigations", Lowell told the Times.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Kushner's permanent clearance is the "top" level White House level clearance. Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, has been granted permanent security clearance.

Some had expected Kushner might not receive a permanent clearance for the duration of Mueller's investigation.

Kushner's initial SF-86 form did not mention any foreign contacts, though he quickly supplemented it to indicate that he would provide that information. Kushner updated the SF-86 forms once more in June to include that meeting.

But experts also pointed to more innocuous explanations, including that Kushner's extensive travel and overseas contacts, as well as his business interests, are more complex than many incoming government officials' and might have taken more time for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to explore.

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