Kushner Pushing Back On Kelly's Effort To Revoke Interim Clearance

Mueller Eyes Kushner's Pursuit of Foreign Financing: Report
Mueller Probing Kushner's Attempts to Finance 666 Building

23 February, 2018

Even as Kelly seeks to restore a sense of order, the knives have been out for him among people who have Trump's ear inside and outside the White House.

The New York Times first reported the security clearance tension between Kelly and Kushner.

Times reporters Julie Davis and Maggie Haberman report that Kelly's issue with Kushner having access to such info is heightened due to the hit the chief of staff took after his botching of the Porter scandal. There are differing opinions among sources as to whether or not Kelly is intentionally targeting Kushner with this policy revision, which is set to go into effect on Friday.

For the last 13 months the husband of Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka has been operating with a temporary security status because of issues raised by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during background checks.

Last week, left-wing watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics filed a complaint, calling on the White House to revoke Kushner's interim clearance. Moreover, he further added, "The new policy that has been announced by General Kelly will not, in any way, affect the ability of Kushner to continue doing what he has been doing and work that has been designated specifically by the President himself".

One White House official said that, although unspoken, it was clear that other staffers were anxious about raising questions about Porter's clearance issues because they were concerned it would resurrect scrutiny surrounding Kushner's own issues.

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But Mr. Kelly, who has been privately dismissive of Mr. Kushner since taking the post of chief of staff but has rarely taken him on directly, has made no guarantees, saying only that the president's son-in-law will still have all the access he needs to do his job under the new system...

During the presidential transition - when Kushner was the Trump campaign's main contact for foreign governments and said he spoke with "over fifty contacts from over 15 countries" - he also allegedly spoke with Chinese investors to shore up financial backing for the building.

Mueller's focus on Kushner's business dealings will likely anger the president, who has said in the past that the special counsel would be crossing "a red line" if he ventured into the Trump family's finances.

The fallout from that is what's prompting the overhaul, which Kelly signed off on last week.

Though Kushner and Ivanka Trump were once proponents of Kelly, believing he would bring much-needed stability to a chaotic West Wing, neither thought the limitations he would impose would apply to them. "Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President's agenda". "And he'll continue to do the important work that he's been focused on with the previous year". "There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", Kelly's statement said.

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