Senior advisor to President Donald Trump, Jared Kusher -- who is also the president's son-in-law -- has officially lost the ability to review sensitive classified information after failing to obtain a permanent security clearance.
Speculation surrounding whether Kushner's permanent security clearance, in addition to temporary clearances held by dozens of White House Staffers, would come through has been swirling for weeks. Last week President Trump said it was up to Chief of Staff John Kelly to determine whether his son-in-law would continue to review classified information.
“That’ll be up to General Kelly. General Kelly respects Jared a lot and General Kelly will make that call. I won’t make that call,” Trump said last week during a press conference with the Australian Prime Minister at the White House.
Previously, Kushner had access to President Trump's daily intelligence briefings and reports. Moving forward, he will not. Ivanka Trump, married to Kusher, has also been working at the White House on a temporary clearance.
More on the background from POLITICO:
The White House’s handling of clearances came under scrutiny after reports that Kelly had been aware that former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused by his two ex-wives of verbal and physical abuse, did not have a full security clearance in part because of a previous protective order granted during one of his divorces.
The scandal prompted Kelly to crack down on staffers working without full clearance, more than a year into the Trump administration.
In a five-page document released last week, Kelly ordered a series of initiatives aimed at bolstering protocols.
“The American people deserve a White House staff that meets the highest standards and that has been carefully vetted — especially those who work closely with the president or handle sensitive national security information,” Kelly said in the memo. “We should — and in the future, must — do better.”
The White House argues Kushner will continue to fulfill an important role at the White House, regardless of his access level to classified information.