Accusations Against Aide Renew Attention on White House Security Clearances

More than a year after joining the White House as a senior adviser, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is among those without a permanent security clearance.

Comments: 181

  1. Jared Kushner's father is a convicted felon.

    His father Charles Kushner pleaded guilty to 18 counts of illegal campaign contributions, tax evasion, and witness tampering.

    The witness-tampering charge arose from Charles Kushner's act of retaliation against William Schulder, his sister Esther's husband, who was cooperating with federal investigators.

    Charles Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, arranged to record an encounter between the two, and had the tape sent to his own sister.

    Charles Kushner served time in federal prison.....he's an all-American role model of the highest ethical standards.

    Jared Kushner comes from great ethical stock....and Donald only hires the best compromised people.

    The FBI would be better off building prison walls around the White House than wasting their time with exhausting background checks of this criminal syndicate.

  2. Noteworthy that the Federal prosecutor who put away Charles Kushner was none other than Chris Christie, which is one of the many reasons he remains on the outside of this confederacy of dunces.

  3. Now there's a wall many of us would be willing to pay for.

  4. Plus a wall around the White House would be a lot cheaper that one on the Mexican border.

  5. There's an interesting article in the New Yorker about this. He is allowing a lot of access to himself by groups like the Chinese thinking he is smarter than everyone else and people who don't want him to do things his way are just people who aren't as smart as business people. There is a lot of concern not only for who he meets with but what they talk about and how he doesn't know the difference between his business and this country. And how he is at great risk of being used by someone. Then he "forgets" to tell he met with someone. But like the rest of this family he's both greedy and stupid. Which is a dangerous combination.

  6. Yes, it's true.
    Kushner does not have a Top Level Security Clearance.
    And he never will.
    And yes, he does read the Top Secret Presidential Intelligence Briefing every morning.

    But hey, somebody has to.

  7. Is this a REAL problem, or deep state stalling?

    Impossible to tell, after reading FBI texts, just how corrupt the FBI is.

    Very depressing.

  8. The absence of concern among Republican leadership on Capitol Hill would almost make you suspect they never really thought Hillary Clinton's emails were a national security concern, but were simply playing politics the whole time.

    It would almost make you suspect that -- if you didn't already know it for sure.

  9. Security clearances are and should be intensive processes, and once awarded, are subject to severe penalties for breaches such as improper disclosures of classified information. Yet breaches sometimes occur, and many or most are hidden by the same secrecy rules of which the clearances are a part. Oaths are required and are a basis for prosecution, but hardly stop criminals, spies, or whistle-blowers. Further, while some breaches are by sleeper spies, moles, people selling secrets for money, or as acts of conscience, many breaches are or appear to be political.

    VP Cheney is suspected of being behind the Plame leak his chief of staff was tried for. Likewise, O. North and C. Weinberger are suspected of taking the fall to protect Reagan. In the cases of Erlichman/Haldeman et al., they covered for Nixon who was later proven to be behind the cover-up and guiding their actions.

    Investigation and prosecution in breach cases must be done free of influence by governors, congress, senators, justices, and presidents, since these officials may be part of such investigations. Further, the public has a need/right to know when such officials are sanctioned, if not every detail. Leaving guilty officials in office to maintain secrecy is a deep corruption.

  10. This is way past overdo. It was public knowledge last year that Kushner lied multiple times on his sworn FBI clearance application by failing to disclose numerous foreign contacts. He also tried to set up a secret foreign back channel and he was in the "treasonous" meeting with Junior and Manafort to acquire oppo research from the Russian government.

    That he has access to top secret information should be a huge national scandal.

  11. The whole issue is phony. There are no strict laws about security clearances. and Trump could issue a security clearance on his own in a minute.
    This is just more fetishizing of purely bureaucratic processes.

  12. This game of cat and mouse between the press and the administration is so pathetic. Hiding from the truth, obstructing oversight and outright lying by those in power is unfair to the American people who pay all their salaries. The press is working tirelessly to find the truth, their efforts hampered at every turn. Mr. Lowell says that hearsay will be shown to be untrue. When is that going to happen?

  13. Unbelievable how this administration is able to get away with sloppiness. Who is protecting the Republic? The country is dependent on public servants and local/state governments to look out for regular citizens and our nation's best interests.

  14. Only two constitutional checks on unlimited power remain, and one of THEM is one challenge away from authoritarian rule.

    Free press, you bear a heavy burden these days. The Founders put you in the Constitution for a reason. The future of the Republic is on your shoulders, and you just might save us.

  15. "Unbelievable how this administration is able to get away with sloppiness."

    Sloppiness is a poor euphemism for treason.

  16. Whether or not Putin is responsible for the entire mess that is the Trump administration, including these multiple inadequate security clearances that make our nation vulnerable to foreign enemies, you have to hand it to him. He’s vanquished America without firing a shot.

  17. We are now officially Ameristan.

  18. I confess I don't understand the security clearance process even though I went through one. As unhappy as I am that Trump obviously gets to see top secret info, he, at least, was elected president. But Jared? If his clearance is still pending why does he get to even work at the white house, let alone see sensitive material? If my medical licence is still pending do I get to practice?
    Just as an aside, wasn't Jared supposed to bring peace to the Middle East? Can we get a report on what he's up to and how he's doing? If he's successful, as Trump has predicted, do we still need a big defence budget increase?

  19. What is the point of security clearance at this juncture when senior staff members at the White House already have access to highly confidential information. Is the clearance just a formality? How did Jared Kushner represented US when he traveled to Israel without full , unconditional security clearance.

  20. Where's the beef? Writes the Times, "Mr. Kushner’s status, as well — a situation made more awkward because Mr. Kushner is married to the president’s daughter Ivanka." Awkward? For whom? Certainly not Jared or Don Trump -- or even Trump's Chief of Staff. In fact, it appears more that Kushner and Trump are largely indifferent to any questions about security clearances for any member of his staff. And that's especially true for those deemed essential like Mr. Porter. Indeed, the only criterion that counts with Trump is loyalty to him, first and foremost.

  21. I have been flabbergasted at the great lengths which people in government who should know better, namely the Republican Congress, have gone to allow and to enable this Trump administration to flaunt long standing government procedures, regulations and norms, which would have been unthinkable.

    I can only speak from myself as a former DOD employee, who has since retired, but was vetted for Top Secret clearances and the process of thorough background checks, which several people like Jarod Kushner, Rob Porter, and even Jeff Sessions who have shown to have issues in their background or had been repeatedly lying to the FBI during the process, would have most likely been terminated or not allowed any access to classified material.

    Jarod Kushner, in particular, would have been barred from working in the any environment with classified material or access, and in all reality should have been fired for lying.

    It amazes me that the current political leaders in this country, mainly in the Republican Party have turned a blind eye to many abuses, and conflicts of interests, and blatant use of the government positions to enrich themselves as the Trump's are doing in clear view of the government.

    This kind of malfeasance would have never been tolerated or even allowed by either party, years ago or even during President Obama's administration and when I look back at the things the Republican's were harping on Obama for, it makes this whole current situation more incredulous.

  22. I have been flabbergasted at the great lengths which people in government who should know better, namely the Republican Congress, have gone to allow and to enable this Trump administration to flaunt long standing government procedures, regulations and norms, which would have been unthinkable.

    I can only speak from myself as a former DOD employee, who has since retired, but was vetted for Top Secret clearances and the process of thorough background checks, which several people like Jarod Kushner, Rob Porter, and even Jeff Sessions who have shown to have issues in their background or had been repeatedly lying to the FBI during the process, would have most likely been terminated or not allowed any access to classified material.

    Jarod Kushner, in particular, would have been barred from working in the any environment with classified material or access, and in all reality should have been fired for lying.

    It amazes me that the current political leaders in this country, mainly in the Republican Party have turned a blind eye to many abuses, and conflicts of interests, and blatant use of the government positions to enrich themselves as the Trump's are doing in clear view of the government.

    This kind of malfeasance would have never been tolerated or even allowed by either party, years ago or even during President Obama's administration and when I look back at the things the Republican's were harping on Obama for, it makes this whole current situation more incredulous.

  23. They've all taken dirty Russian money, laundered thru the NRA, and they're trying to keep that fact from coming out.

  24. Well said. Having a number of top White House officials without permanent security clearances is more than unsettling. President Trump has no understanding of or respect for security rules, which are in place for a reason.
    I can remember when I attended a private function at the White House, I had to be vetted before being allowed to attend - and it was a PARTY! Having high officials in the WH with no security clearance is discombombulating to me!

  25. Russians interfere in a Presidential election? Republicans: "well, what can you do?"

    The President gives his young son-in-law a position of enormous responsibility despite no experience and an apparent inability to pass a background check for security clearance? Republicans: "well, what can you do?"

    Just on those two issues, imagine the GOP response if party affiliations were reversed.

  26. It's astonishing to see Trump's narcissistic pathology play out every day. Trump simply doesn't care. If there's a law, a rule, a protocol or a a procedure to be followed he ignores it. And, infuriatingly, he gets away with it. Emoluments clause? Pfft. Nepotism rules? Pfft. No security clearance for his shady son-in-law? Pfft. He just doesn't care.

  27. Come on guys, give the White House and President Trump a break. President Trump when he promised "extreme vetting" never realized that it was a very slow process which, I guess, could take years.

  28. Does the media realize that one of the big reasons a lot of these people don't have clearances is because their backgrounds can not stand the light of day? The Trump admin does not want the FBI digging in the backgrounds of some of these appointees. Kushner is a prime example.

  29. An interim clearance is good for 180 days, renewable once for an additional 180 days. Why is Jared Kushner still allowed to hold an interim, and how does he gain access to compartmented information, even with an interim TOP SECRET?

  30. Jared Kushner will never get security clearance . His connection with Russian , Chinese and other foreign business and shady characters started long before Trump's presidential campaign. He should not be in the white house. He is a suspicious from very beginning. What is his qualification to be a presidential advisor? Son in law? It is not kosher. White House is not a Trump Tower or Kushner Business Center.

  31. He's shoveling classified secrets out the back door by the wheelbarrow load, over his "secure back-channel" directly to Putin. He's being blackmailed, along with half the congress.

  32. If background checking to get full Security Clearance takes 8 months to a year or more before they are complete, what's the point given such an Administration as this?

    In just over a year the White House/Administration has had a 34% senior staff attrition rate!

    This suggests that many National Security Staff, Senior Advisors, Intelligence and Policy Staff as well as Administration, Department Heads and even Leaders of Government Organisations (i.e Scott Pruitt) have not kept their jobs long enough to get the full Security Clearances needed for the jobs they so briefly held.

    At this attrition (and background clearance) rate, the White House will NEVER have the security clearances in place that the senior administration staff and appointments must have that Americans need to ensure that they are clear and able to do the job given them...provided they can keep them!

    Or is this the new norm of what is fast looking like a very Mickey Mouse White House?

  33. Please do not insult Mickey Mouse. I like him!

  34. My Apologies.

    Mickey Mouse has had his House in order for more years than I can remember and deserves better!

    And I like him too!

  35. Domestic violence is not " just " a Women's issue. The two Police Officers murdered in Ohio last Saturday were also victims. That killer should have been if Jail, and definitely should have never had a gun. Major fail.
    Thanks, NRA. Thanks, GOP. November.

  36. Anyone who does not have a full security clearance in this White House after one year on the job probably won't get one and should be fired -- starting with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law who sees top-secret documents on a daily basis and who once asked for "back-channel communications" with the Kremlin.

  37. Donald Trump demanded that Hillary Clinton be imprisoned for improperly handling classified information. His supporters would snarl with glee as they chanted "Lock her up."

    And now this.

    Is there a bigger hypocrite than Donald Trump? Seriously. This is not a rhetorical question. Has there ever been a bigger hypocrite and liar than Donald Trump?

  38. The biggest hypocrites are the so-called patriotic Amurricans who allow this, nay, encourage this to continue. DJT is acting quite reasonably, as he is being given full encouragement to do so.

  39. Dear James, I really hate to say yes to your brilliant question, but yes, the so-called "Christian" evangelicals supporting Trump are probably bigger hypocrites -- given all the energy they spend throwing stones at other people.

    But, Trump is certainly the most dangerous hypocrite.

  40. Could it be that Kushner, along with Ivanka and the rest of Trump's choices are simply something called "completely unqualified" for the positions they now hold? And, who can really believe that, in this sloppy WH, classified material (that's marked with a "c", Donald, like your folks reminded Hillary), isn't seen by just about ANYONE - whether intentionally or haphazardly? "So much paper, so much paper", Donald often says with anyone just standing around him.

  41. Would Donald Trump himself have ever gotten a permanent security clearance if he had not been selected POTUS by the Electoral College???

  42. Trump couldn't pass the security clearance process I had to go through years ago to work as a clerk in a bank.

  43. Years ago I worked for Northrup at its B-2 facility and had to get a security clearance in order to. All this obsession in Washington with security really creeps me out, like there's so much there to hide. It feels like a monster of sorts, almost alien. In spite of all that, it was a beautiful sunrise here in East LA this morning.

  44. Does no one remember Bill Clinton's 1st term? Background checks were either not initiated or delayed.....anyone remember? Also anyone remember the GOP calling for hearings, calling for resignations, calling for impeachment? Anyone? Anyone?

    GOP are the worse hypocrites.

  45. Does anyone remember Mitch McConnell's blocking President Obama's ability to appoint a SC Justice for 8 years. The corrupt McConnell is happy to have an evangelical ideologue on the Court; no doubt Gorsuch will overlook any corruption on McConnell's part; after all they are both shills for corporations.

  46. When will American voters wake up to see just how incompetent is the Trump administration and its CEO???

  47. As my mother would say, ‘the fish stinks from the head’. Disgusting.

  48. Kushner shouldn't be anywhere near the WH,let alone have access to any security clearance.This whole GOP performance is absolutely appalling.Have Graham and Grassley lost their minds too??

  49. why is a young man, with no experience but debt-loaded and in desperate need of (foreign) financing. obviously prejudiced in favor of Israel, and without security clearance for over one year with no apparent end in sight, and known to be at least a person of interest to Mueller, reading all the top secret information that Trump does not read??
    How long do we allow incompetence, corruption and nepotism run our country???

  50. Let's see.. it began on January 20th of last year, no? I'd say at least another three to seven years. Unbelievable.

  51. It may be unclear why Kushner's security clearance has been held up, I have a guess.

    Perhaps Kushner Company's money laundering for Russian oligarchs and wealthy Chinese, while basically running out of money for his 666 Fifth Ave property makes him simultaneously subject to blackmail, and potentially desperate to aid any foreign nationals willing to invest in a sinking ship.

    Do I win a prize?

  52. You certainly win my "Recommend."

    Whether we'll ever know all the answers to this onion-peeling mess of an administration depends on the excellent reporting of the NY Times, Wash Post and others.

  53. Frankly, I trust Kushner less than I do Trump when it comes to putting the interests of the country ahead of his own.

  54. Me, too. Trump will commit sedition right to our faces, but Jared will work with Russians to secrete it.

  55. Why would anyone in the White House need a security clearance if everyone is colluding with Russia, giving them all of our secrets and laundering their money? As Luke Harding writes, in “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win,” “For four decades Trump’s property empire effectively functioned as a laundromat for Moscow money.” Elsewhere, Donald Trump, Jr. is quoted as saying, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

  56. Calling Mr. Kushner's multiple questionnaire omissions mere "mistakes" is being overly kind.

  57. In the past, the need to keep clarifying "mistakes" and correcting previously provided SF 86 information to request a security clearance was a bright red flag and sufficient grounds for denying a security clearance.

  58. Do they give security clearances to futures felons?

  59. It's unconscionable that these top-level people are working with partial clearance, yet they possess secrets that foreign and enemy agents would give their teeth for. Also, with some unsavory characters having dealt with Kushner, and with Porter's scandal widening, the possibility for blackmail certainly is lurking.

  60. POSSIBILITY of blackmail? It's happening every day, in full view of the public, on national TV. These guys are shoveling classified information out the door to the Russians on a daily basis.

  61. If they're given interim clearance, then they already know all that there is to know about the nation's secrets. And if they are subsequently denied clearance, seems like that horse is already out of the barn.

    Shouldn't these people be thoroughly vetted by the FBI, CIA, etc. before Day 1 on the job? If they have complicated dealings like Kushner, oh well, nominate someone else or hire someone with clearance from the previous administration with clearance until the background check is complete. Seems like common sense to me.

  62. Is there a single Republican concerned about this? Can you imagine the uproar if someone in Obama's White House were in a similar situation?

  63. It appears that president Trump cares more about vetting immigrants fleeing their war torn countries then his staff that's handling government security documents. When is Congress going to step in and do their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution and protect the security of the citizens of this country?

  64. When is Congress going to uphold the Constitution, you ask? Right after the Blue Wave election in November.

  65. The GOP is not going to do their sworn duty, it is as simple and obvious as that, and so they must be stripped of their power by the voters in Nov.

  66. They will not, too many of them are also bought and paid for by Putin and his ilk. They slap on flag pins and go about the business of selling out America.

  67. In the computer and electronic communications age background checks should take no longer than ONE month.

    BTW, Rob Porter was previously Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch so he should already have a security clearance. He has also worked for Senators Rob Portman and Mike Lee.

  68. Ah ha! He must have remained just one step ahead of the confirmation police the whole time.

  69. A priority must be given to this process. Expedite however you must, but get it done. On principle it's sloppy and leaves to many unknowns. Look what its come to here.

    These clearances for the WH must go to the top of the pile.

  70. Clearances? You must mean denials; at least that's what I hope you're calling for.

  71. I do indeed.

  72. So here's the real question: in a normal world, would Trump qualify for a high level security clearance with his history of shady business connections, bankruptcies, multiple adulteries and accusations of sexual assault? I rather doubt it.

  73. Brilliant deduction! I think I will borrow your question when debating with my Trump supporting family. Really puts his presidency in perspective.

  74. We are presently suffering the exact injury this kind of vetting should have prevented, but the GOP is nothing if not seditious about judiciousness.

  75. There is no question - he would not qualify. Nor would he pass the employment requirements for working in the White House at all, which require disclosing his tax returns. He promised to help the forgotten man - and the forgotten man has still not realized that he has been conned. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a huge advantage for a con man, who has no conscience and uses words as means to an end. Truth is irrelevant in the pursuit of their goals.

  76. Thank goodness for the press or we wouldn't have a anything left of our democracy!

  77. People are upset about the accused wife beater Rob Porter not having a security clearance when they really should be upset about Jared Kushner. Jared Kushner has borrowed massive amounts of money from Israeli and German banks. His family has a personal relationship with Netanyahu. How is this not a serious conflict and national security matter. I just don't get it.

  78. It is possible to be upset about both simultaneously.

  79. Netanyahu and his wife are now under scrutiny for corruption in office. Wasn't it Netanyahu who insulted President Obama while addressing Congress in a House paid for by all taxpayers, including we Democrats. The GOP side of Congress gave this fraud a standing ovation; he was not a war hero, his brother was. Would the current Congress have given Goebbels a standing ovation? Or Himmler? Would FDR have considered them treasonous? Or Truman? Probably.

  80. Netanyahu is now under investigation for corruption; his wife is also under investigation. This is the man who took credit for his brother's heroism at Entibbe. This is the man who insulted the President of the United States on the House Floor, receiving a standing ovation for that. Netanyahu is not a "close" friend; he is a fraud we can't trust; his own military does not trust him. Eisenhower would not have trusted him; even Nixon would have kept his distance. Trump is a fraud who lies; how many of our allies no longer share important intelligence with this friend of Putin? If we are still the leader of the free world, pity that world.

  81. This is great, the biggest hypocrite in the world, who complained about Hillary using an unsecured email server, surrounds himself with people that haven't gotten their security clearances.
    Way to go Donny boy.

  82. "Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has refused to ask the White House for any information about security clearances or for a formal briefing on the matter" Perhaps Gowdy was exhaused after the Benghazi! hearings. He certainly persued Hillary Clinton all over the map, without proving anything.

  83. This certainly helps to explain why he is not seeking re-election in November.

  84. Why shouldn't Kushner get his clearance? A few errors (lies) on his application shouldn't hold things up. Jeff Sessions lied in public to the entire Senate and all of America during his confirmation process, but our elected representatives had no problem making him our chief law enforcement officer. Imagine that - our chief law enforcer proudly lied under oath for all to see. So what's the issue with Kushner? Nothing - no issue.

  85. We now know Kislyak called Flynn right after Obama told him to get his people out of San Francisco and Maryland. Flynn advised him to remain calm and wait for Trump to turn this around. Trump called their response "smart" when it was actually coordinated.

    Having got himself caught by FBI by Five Eyes, the next call was with Jared to discuss how to do this without getting caught again. Jared will NEVER get clearance as long as our government is still in our hands. He's a tool of our adversaries.

  86. The swamp appears deeper and endless: now another, yet unknown character of the morass creatures makes into the lime light: Trey Gowdy! As if Nunes is already a common sight of obstruction, now another one! One is just baffled at the utter total lack of oversight this republican contolled swamp is residing over. They refuse to let the status of these peoples clearance be checked???
    We have a government that nobody can vouch for their intergrity to handle classified material???? And the repubs are refusing an insight to this, blocking the Russia investigation??.... I am getting more speechless by the day what is happening to this- still so-called- republic....yea, if you can keep it

  87. Trey Gowdy...the zealot who could not get out of the limelight hectoring Ms Clinton. He must have some new medical condition...."silence".

  88. Feeling more and more like the Republicans are working for Trump - maybe he’s got blackmail worthy stuff on all of their indiscretions - or for the wealthy donors who give them massive campaign donations, or maybe even the Russians. They certainly are not working for We The People. Wonder how long it will take willfully blind Trump supporters to realize they’ve literally been Trumped and will get very little of what he promised them in the long term?

  89. Re: delay in Kushner's background check, Sarah Huckbee Sanders said, "“It’s up to those same law enforcement and intelligence agencies to determine if changes need to be made to their process,”

    No, Sarah, changes shouldn't be made to the law enforcement/intelligence agencybackground check process. It's up to the WH not to nominate people for key positions that require security clearances who are unqualified, dishonest dilettantes whose resume consists solely of fundraising, cheerleading, or being somehow related to Trump.

  90. And it’s up to the Senate not to confirm unqualified nominees.

  91. my theory is that kushner, through cambridge analytica and wikileaks, was directly coordinating with russians on how to best release the hacked info, and he knows there is a paper trail that leads back to him, and this is why he got trump to fire comey in a failed attempt to end the russia investigation.

    how this ends i do not know, but it is clear that someone in the trump orbit knows a lot more than is being said and my hunch is that person is jared.

  92. Dear Aaa,
    It's also possible he and his wife convinced Trump to fire Comey because they know an investigation will uncover their money laundering with Russian oligarchs.

  93. Just a few questions: Does the FBI perform a security clearance on the President? Was one done on trump? If so, has he passed, or is he still on an interim clearance? This is as important as a mental acuity test.

  94. A member of my family holds a security clearance and people who do not work in Washington don't understand that it is something that is on your mind every day. Every financial transaction, every personal habit and relationship is subject to scrutiny. The reason for the process is to keep people like Porter out. Someone with his background could be blackmailed, might shoot his mouth off about classified information or use his job to exact revenge in a personal relationship, which ultimately makes the country weaker. As a divorce lawyer, I have seen abusers do all of the above. The people who still don't have clearances should be out and qualified people should replace them. This will only get worse.

  95. Quite honestly I am amazed that Donald John Trump has security clearance. Given his form for spilling secrets and telling lies he’d be the last person I’d trust with a sensitive document never mind the safety of the nation.

  96. Well, that's if he could read.

    I guess he can photograph documents at night up in bed, and fax them over to the Russian embassy.

  97. A future test of any prospective presidential candidate should getting a security clearance before campaigning. Since Trump couldn't get one if he applied, why does anyone think he would demand it of his own family? Ignoring all the norms of society and any un-policed rule is, and always has been, in his nature. More fool the country that voted for such political anarchy, then -- which would be us, I guess. Pity about the rest of the world, though. Oh well, they'll get over it...

  98. Imagine the unmitigated audacity of team trump saying the FBI should change the standard for getting a security clearance to accommodate their crew of thieves and traitors.

    Imagine any other administration ever saying that they should be exempt from any rules governing the conduct of top secret business inside the White House.

    Imagine giving people under FBI investigation for conspiring with foreign enemies access to every piece of correspondence to the Oval Office

    Imagine people like Kushner and porter who are easy targets for blackmail handling the top intelligence briefings of the US intelligence agencies

    The imagine how petty and insignificant a couple improperly marked emails going through a secure private server really were.

  99. What WON'T Trump blame on the FBI?

    Is anyone surprised the FBI guy who kept Nixon's AG's wife sedated in a DC hotel room for five days, tore the phone from the wall and claimed her fall caused the bruises and stitches, is NOW Ambassador to the Czech Republic?

    He told a doctor she was insane when she was only trying to explain her friend was just arrested for breaking into the Watergate, and she wanted to defend him. These men were holding her against her will, but the doctor still drugged her.

    That's Trump's kind of FBI, so how did HE get a clearance?

  100. Wow, I'd forgotten all about that Martha Mitchell thread. You have a really functional memory!

  101. Kushner’s clearance isn’t delayed. He can’t get one. Top reason should be that he tried to sneak into the Russian embassy to have secret secure talks with Putin that US intelligence or law enforcement couldn’t hear. Of course he had no problem with Russian intelligence hearing it all. I’d scream he’s on their side but of course he’s not; he’s on Kushner’s side.

  102. The military school system ensures that a student has the required security clearance before they allow him to be enrolled in school. You cannot hold many military occupational specialties if you are unable to get a clearance. The SF 86 form used in the White House is the same one used by the military. Why is Kushner allowed access to classified information when the military won’t let PFC Snuffy enroll in school without one?

  103. Glacially slow security clearance processes are not just affecting the WH. This broken security clearance process is affecting all government agencies. Currently, a clearance process for a new hire or an upgraded security level clearance for a current civil servant or contractor is currently taking about TWO YEARS. Security clearances used to take 3 to 6 months (as of 5 to 10 years ago). Further, all security clearances are supposed to be reviewed every two or three years and this is not happening. So, by default, people are being hired across government without the appropriate security clearances - this includes contractors and civil servants. The press needs to stop focusing so much on the 'twittersphere' for "easy" news and start digging into why the entire federal government security clearance process has ground to a halt.

  104. Given the GOP's constant demands to shrink government, and the atmosphere in most gov't agencies, it is hardly worth a Congressional investigation to figure out that capable and talented people aren't applying for the few jobs that remain. So much has been outsourced to consulting companies, who hire poorly qualified and poorly trained people. And some of them are now pretending to do even security clearance work. You want to kill government, this is the kind of thing that happens.

  105. Sure, that sounds like a reasonable explanation. No one in this administration has gotten a security clearance, right?

    Except, that they have. It is Jared Kushner and some pesky details about his secret meetings with Russians that he never had -- oh, ooops, forgot! He had dozens of such meetings. And simply forgot to tell the FBI.

    Keep dreamin' about "the bureaucracy."

  106. It certainly doesn’t help when the agencies are under staffed and under funded, as well as headed by people who believe counter to what those agencies have always stood for.

  107. Who do we think we are kidding here? Since Jared Kushner and the other cast of characters have already shown they had previous contact with the Russians and if Trump had allowed the vetting, does anyone honestly think that they would be in the position they are now? Laws are for everyone else, not the Trump family and their minions.

  108. As the security officer for a small company I once waited for two years while a five-year update took more than two years. Why so long you ask? Many Americans, including Mr. Kushner have a multitude of foreign contacts, each of which need to be investigated. In the case I witnessed, it included more than three pages of single spaced names due to extensive foreign travel and hosting of foreigners at multiple meetings held in the US.

  109. You neglected to mention, perhaps purposely, whether during the vetting process you allowed the person in question access to classified company information. Would you have allowed Kushner, with his financial problems and debt history to review your company's confidential documents without clearance?

  110. In addition to mandatory release of tax returns and independently administered physical and psych evals, I'd like future presidential nominees to be vetted for top security clearance prior to elections. Trump, of course, wouldn't pass, and it's possible that Clinton might have been a tough call (although previous service as Secretary of State should be satisfactory for clearance). I think that granting POTUS -- any POTUS -- instant and immediate access without formal intelligence clearance is sheer lunacy, and aids the WH in taking a "so what?" stance as the inadequacies and questionable histories of subordinates come under delayed scrutiny.

  111. I agree 100% about Trump. However Hillary probably couldn't have passed the security standards that the lowest of her foreign service officers had to pass. They gave her a pass, just as they gave Trump a pass, just as they give many VIPs a pass. This is no longer a nation that honors the rule of law, and that is a big problem.

  112. Really? A former First Lady? A former New York State Senator who got medical treatment for First Responders? A former Secty. of State who was denied funding to protect remote consulates and who was later blamed for an attack on a lightly defended consulate in Benghazi? A woman who served her country for 26 yrs., who put all 26 yrs. of tax returns on line available to the public? A woman who made Trump look like a fool in their debates? Hillary Clinton already passed standards necessary for important government positions and for high office. Trump, the grifter who left investors bankrupt; left students with bogus degrees paid for from their savings; meeting with a Russian diplomat with Russian press in attendance, and U.S. press denied entrance. The Trump Foundation is under investigation in NYC. That same Foundation recently received 95M flown in on a private jet, just enough to save Trump's failing FL real estate ventures. And, he is still President, insulting allies and abusing the Emoluments Clause. We now have a corrupt Congress, a corrupt President, and a corporate/evangelical ideologue on the Supreme Court. Worse than Grant, worse than Nixon, a complete dishonor to Eisenhower.

  113. The delay in Jared Kushner not having a "top level security clearance" is a huge red flag for the president and the White House. There's a reason for such a lengthy delay and it can't be misplaced paperwork or an administrative snafu. Maybe there's something in Kushner's background that would be embarrassing if brought to light. If nothing else, the president should have pushed vigorously for issuance of his son-in-law's top level security clearance ASAP. It's a mystery as to why he did not do that.

  114. Imagine if Hillary were president and her son-in-law was at her side in the oval office with full access to top secret information but lacking security clearances and zero probability of getting them. Republicans would be emitting blood-curdling screams. Yet they're perfectly fine with Kushner. Can this hypocrisy be any more flagrant?

  115. I remember when Hillary,
    as Bill Clinton's wife,was crucified for working on healthcare

  116. Jared can't get a security clearance because of his a.) debt and money laundering, and b.) non-stop lying on background check forms.

    And yet, there he is, reading sensitive material every day. Gee, I wonder who he's talking to on his "secure back-channel" to Putin.

  117. If there is one person in the White House who should not get clearance it is Kushner. His financial problems with a certain properties make him uniquely susceptible to foreign influence. It was also reported that his sister was attempting to peddle influence with Chinese investors.

  118. No the first is First-Daddy-in-Law. He has so many secrets he forgets which he lies about. He is a clear security risk and those in charge should have said something, done something long before his nomination.

  119. Hard to get moles security clearances, what with all their willful blindness.

  120. This is crazy. Either you get a security clearance or you don't. Letting folks wonder around the Oval without one is seriously irresonsible. Is it also against the law?

  121. perhaps President Nixon said it best: if the President does it, it's not illegal. and Nixon, unlike Trump, was a lawyer...whereas Trump, unlike Nixon, is a king.

  122. If this was happening in a Dem administration the outrage would be LOUD and incessant!

    Lock 'Um Up.

  123. Back in the 1960s, while serving in the US Air Force, I held a cryptographic security clearance, which, as those who know are aware, is even higher in import-tance than a top-secret one. In no way would, I feel, would Mr Kushner qualify for
    even one at a top-secret level. I leave to the reader to make a determination as to what is going on.

  124. But....but...her E-mails.....

    The sheer preposterous levels of hypocrisy, combined with the insane levels of false equivalence are breathtaking.

  125. Not to mention the pantsuits, which somehow were just so terribly important in the weeks before the 2016 election.

  126. Is anyone stunned by the hypocrisy of Rep. Trey Goudy, who poured the entire resources of the committee that he chairs into the Benghazi investigation but who refuses to even ask the White House about the Porter clearance fiasco?

    He's not running for re-election in 2018, claiming he believes his talents are better suited to working in the criminal justice system. Seriously? But you can't be bothered to even ask about Porter? #failing TreyGoudy!

  127. Neither DJT nor most of his cabinet could pass the usual security clearance vetting required of even low-level federal civil servants. Most haven't made the complete tax and financial disclosures usually required, and/or have disqualifying factors like histories of bankruptcy, suspect foreign associations or conflicts of interest. I was horrified when then-candidate Trump was given access to classified security briefings. This should be a much bigger story.

  128. Not exposed in the memo Rice wrote to herself is WHAT Obama asked Intelligence she should KEEP from Trump. The code keys to Prism, most likely. Flynn kept getting caught red handed! Way to receive Five Eyes!

    First opportunity Trump got, he broke that Israel caught Kislyak calling Flynn. Having read all Snowden dropped, I guessed so myself. The UK gets the intercept, but Israel gets a full frontal copy, not metadata. UK might take a month getting us a transcript, but we get Israel's pronto. Or do we now?

  129. And you forgot to mention those temperament or mental-illness type issues that leave a person unfit.

  130. With regards to Kushner, its simple:
    With Regards to Trump;
    It's a blatant disregard for the norms
    With regard for the Republicans:
    It's Hypocrisy
    With regards to the Nation:
    It's an inexcusable risk to our security

  131. This neat little game the Trump Administration plays with Congressional approval is getting really dangerous.

    Trey Gowdy's committee is responsible for government oversight. Why wouldn't he want to know why many people in the White House don't have proper clearance?

    This is not about a glacial bureaucracy; it's about denying clearances that are ignored by the Trump Administration, compromising national security.

    And Congress is afraid to protect and defend the Constitution.

  132. Why have security clearances in the first place if the fact that a person fails the clearance is ignored. Congress needs to change to laws concerning security clearances so that the president nor those working closely with him such as White House lawyer, chief of staff etc. do not have the ability to ignore it when someone fails. It should be automatic dismal and have that person escorted out the door within set amount of time - say 1 hour.

  133. Regardless of whether Trump is impeached, indicted, resigns, loses re-election, it does not matter.
    The White House has been DEFILED by these people. The building itself, our institutions, our democracy, will not recover for a very long time; generations I predict.

  134. Why is Jared's security clearance taking so long?

    Because it is now part of Mueller's investigation.

    Jared cannot be cleared because he is an active security threat, unfortunately, like his father-in-law

  135. This is a clear example demonstrating that the Trump Administration and the Republican Senators and Representatives putting the greed of its own party above our democracy. It is undeniable.

    Our elected Republican officials look away, get their talking points, and defend this Administration's breach of national security in their pursuit of tax cuts, deregulation, white supremacy, and "Christianity".

  136. Question: If an individual does not have (for instance) a TOP SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE and that individual is shown or given a Top Secret Document by a colleague or "boss", is the person who 'shows' or releases that document to that individual in violation of his/her Top Secret clearance?

  137. It's hard to recall so much fuss about security clearances during the Bush or Obama administrations. What could possibly be so different about this Trump administration?

  138. I assume it's because a) many positions were filled with people who have never worked for the government in any capacity, and therefore have no previous background checks; and b) many positions were filled with people who have extensive business/financial portfolios, which make take longer than usual to check. Given the circumstances, it seems reasonable that it would take longer to complete the checks. And the longer it takes, the more vulnerable you are to speculation. But that's not a genuine political problem. I only take issue with the White House knowing about security risks and taking no action, as in the cases of Flynn and Porter.

  139. Perhaps had Kushner not try to subvert the process by lying on his questionnaire a decision would have been reached by now.

  140. Unreal. The White House is run like a dysfunctional family business. I guess there isn't much of a concern about foreign intervention and espionage as long as they continue to buy their own cover of "fake news". Until, of course, the world owns all of our secrets.

  141. All White House staff who work directly with the President are required to possess a "Yankee White" security clearance that gives them guarded access to Top Secret and above materials which would include crypto and highly compartmentalzed materials.
    This specialized security clearance wth a Single Scope Background Investigation or SSBI initiated by the Department of Defense.
    Since Don Trump never served in the military and has such a high disregard administrative order, it is not surprising that he has such careless disregard for guarding highly classified material. And, he has complete contempt for anyone who tells him that his chosen staff people must have security clearances to view classified managerial. To him, the idea of security clearances does not apply to him, his staff or his family because they should be exempt from all bothersomevdetsils yhat he does not agree with. He did not have to bother with classified materials as a business person, and he carries thst same flippant attitude towards his job as a president who loves to govern by chaos as he continues to degrade people and this country!

  142. Meanwhile in the real world, if you want a job, to have to meet a certain threshold to be qualified; you need a certain degree, pass a test , have a specific certification, etc. Not in this Whitehouse. All people who are qualified for their job should be insulted by the way this President hires people.

  143. At every turn, it appears the WH is doing everything possible to delay or avoid disclosing information on a wide range of issues. It just makes you wonder what they are hiding.

  144. Speaking of clearances, who is watching the merc, Eric Prince, that DT is so close to? Do the "services" he provides require any clearances? I am thinking that from the sales cycle to actual execution, this mercenary must get information requiring clearance. We know DT is very loose with the information... I pray to God that our varied Intelligence Agencies have people who are objectively making sure that anything he gets is on the up and up. I think this would be a very good story to dig into.

  145. We have devolved into a nation of men, not laws.

    Imagine what the Republicans would be saying if Chelsea Clinton were wandering around the White House, reading classified information while waiting for a secret meeting with the Russians.

    Tom Clancy died too soon. "Clear and Present Danger" is what's happening in the Trump Misadministration, right now, under our very noses.

  146. As much as I dislike the Trump administration, it should also be made clear that even for lower levels of clearance the process takes more than a year to complete. After the Snowden debacle the entire process went under review and became much more complex and time-consuming. An interim clearance is usually given if the need is important enough and if there are no obvious red-flags for the candidate (such as arrests, credit issues, and other easy to find information). Even if you had one in the past but have not used it for a few years the process must start over. That said, it's clear that there are many more folks that usual in this White House who have had difficulty getting a clearance and should have never been offered such positions in the first place.

  147. What a joke our national security system has become, formerly revered and emulated around the world. Trump is a puppet for the Mercers and the Koch (to name only a couple of his billionaire backers), but should we hold our elected officials in Congress to a higher standard!
    I've always been an American cheerleader when traveling abroad--even in the days of the Bush/Cheney administration--and chided those Americans who sported a Canadian maple leaf on their backpacks. But now, that Maple Leaf looks mighty inviting!

  148. Since the president's base has been successfully convinced that the intelligence community is suspect, why does the White House even care about blocking transparency? Why don't they allow for oversight into the process, when they can discredit the results for their precious 35% of voters just by having Kellyanne Conway appear on Fox News to say "the president told me last night that this is a fake, made-up, very bad, no good story?" If the FBI's findings are not to be believed, what, if any, are the other objections to looking into their findings? That it's a waste of taxpayer money? I'd like to see Mr. I-want-a-parade try to get that one past the public.

  149. You would think this would be a national security issue at this point. Our allies certainly acknowledge it and act accordingly by not sharing what they know anymore. Why should they at this point? I wouldn't.

  150. Does it really matter if the security services are objecting to Jared having a desk over at the Russian embassy? It's coordination not collusion.

  151. Trump and his administration have had eight direct talks with Putin and/or FSB Russian agents. NONE of these were disclosed by the White House. America learned of these interactions from press releases made by the Kremlin.
    How many more 'interactions' have occurred between Trump or Jared or other members of the White House that have not been reported by the Kremlin?
    Notice from the White House being withheld too?
    The entire Trump administration disregards national security in favor of self-interest. The Republican Congress could not care less. How then are they not complicit in this abjection of responsibility?
    We know that Gowdy's hair would be on fire in any other situation. We need good investigative reporting regarding the lack of security in the Oval Office including all the people who have visited there and their names withheld.
    Nothing but dirty tricks from this administration starting with Trump.

  152. The process of getting a top security clearance requires detailed investigation of all personal and financial ties to foreign nationals. At one point, during the cold war, applicants, and any of their relatives, were blocked from travel to certain countries. You could not even transfer flights at an airport in those countries.

    Kushner has given contradictory statements about his financial ties with Russians, and he has not offered all his financial records. If he were applying as a private contract employee to the DOD or DOE for his clearance, he would not get it.

  153. Perhaps in the future, if our nation actually has a future, it should be required that all candidates running for President have a top security clearance. They should be thoroughly vetted by the FBI and the CIA before being allowed to run. We wouldn't be in this mess if such a requirement had been in place in 2016.

  154. In a local village court last week, the court granted a young defendant's request for modification of a previous disposition of a violation (not a crime) so that the defendant could qualify for a position as a White House intern. It is not uncommon for local courts to do that, particularly if the disposition was an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means the case has not been resolved. But is it possible that more scrutiny is paid to interns than to people who will actually be handling matters of national security?

  155. When my daughter applied for a teaching job on her husband's naval base, she went through a back ground check and security clearance that took 9 months. She was not allowed to work until the security check and clearance were finalized.

    If an elementary school teacher isn't allowed on naval base until cleared, then obviously, Kushner and others surrounding the so-called president should not be allowed to participate in meetings that involve national security until they are completely vetted and cleared. Period.

  156. A properly functioning White House doesn’t have security liabilities nominated to top posts in the first place.

    Trump doesn’t get it, perhaps because he would NEVER receive a security clearance himself were one required.

    Trey Gowdy’s refusal to perform the oversight functions of his House committee is equally disturbing.

  157. So this is how his voters wanted the country to not run?

  158. I leave it to the sophisticated reader to make his or her own determination. Back in the 1960s, while serving in a sensitive area in the Air Force in Western Europe,
    I held a top-secret cryptographic security clearance. In no way would or could Mr Kushner or his purported boss be allowed access to this kind of sensitive informa-tion. I leave it to the informed reader to make a determination.

  159. I'm not sure what is worse: the fact that they don't have security clearances or the fact that they don't have any talent. But one thing is beyond debate: Trump's crude description of certain countries could be used to describe his staff.

  160. Please don’t call Kushner’s perjury in failing to disclose dozens of contacts with foreign officials, including Russians, in his sworn FBI clearance questionnaire mere “mistakes.”

    In the 4/6/2017 article, Kushner’s lawyer gives an hilarious defense: “the questionnaire was submitted prematurely” – like this is a RomCom movie where Julia Roberts sneaked into his office and hit “send” without him knowing. He was in the treasonous Junior meeting to get oppo research from the Russian government and he tried to set up a separate foreign back channel: it’s not a “mistake” that he falsely swore under oath that he never met with Russian officials.

    It’s called perjury, and he should have been indicted a year ago.

  161. No doubt if the bloke were to start slapping Ivanka around that would really super annoy the President. He would say, “you’re fired !”

    Other guys, other women, the guy is probably innocent. But Ivanka ? No, no, no... he wouldn’t look the other way about that.

  162. The total unbelievable blindness of this republican congress goes way beyond ,ignorance,ineptitude , criminal neglect. They are setting standards never reached in our government before. Remember sirs and madams - this is your doing! By allowing so corrupt an administration to flourish this is your work. At the end of the day ,your constituents, your families, your neighbors will hold you accountable. You sat on your hands, you are deaf to the cruelty and injustices, you are blind to the criminals, and you are bribed by the campaign funds you take from the rich. Actually you are stealing from your voters. Monies given in tax breaks to donors should go to healthcare, education, environment. Well, you are actually in that self made swamp.

  163. More lies with no accountability, as Trumpf and the GOP try to destroy America from within. Be very worried about November, Republicans. To paraphrase another famous Russian dictator: We the People will bury you.

  164. “Lock her up!” was the cry when Hillary was found to have shared a handful of classified, or retroactively classified, emails.
    Trump, however, has allowed at least two staff members who had no security clearances, to read and handle documents so sensitive that they are put immediately into a “burn bag” after reading.
    Kushner’s relations with the Chinese and with Israelis should automatically disqualify him from this privilege, yet here we are.
    Clinton vilified for unintentional, relatively minor errors, and DJT remains the Teflon Don.

  165. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell once again go AWOL and fail to do their jobs.

    They sit idly by as their incompetent reckless president allows 30-40 of his staffers, without proper security clearance, to have access to classified information every day.

    Deficit Lovers, Ryan and McConnell are too busy counting campaign contributions from their filthy rich donors who just reaped billions $$$ from their new tax cuts.

  166. Trump seems not to understand his role in protecting the USA from hostile foreign countries, especially Russia. He thinks that a greater threat is illegal immigrants from Latin America. It seems as if we have a home-grown fifth column residing in the White House.

  167. that is what he says, therefore, do not believe it.

  168. Let’s be serious. I am looking forward to the NYT doing a statistical comparison with past administrations. Senior White House officials always get preference in having their clearances expedited over, say, a new junior-level Pentagon employee, as it should be for obvious reasons. And Kushner is far from the first senior White House official to have a complicated past, financially and otherwise. So it seems ridiculous for the White House to claim that this is just some normal slow grind of bureaucratic process. There is something out there that the background investigators are finding scary.

    And count me among those that find it very scary that Trump is permitting people without proper clearances to have daily access to our government’s most closely-guarded secrets.

  169. Remember when Hillary was demonized just because she had a private server for her personal emails?

  170. I seem to remember a certain candidate repeatedly berating his opponent for her "careless" handling of classified documents and leading chants of "Lock her up!" Now over a year later son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and serial wife batterer, Rob Porter, have neen had access to top secret infirmation without having the necessary clearance. And, this is a massive violation of "due process" of established vetting procedures that threatens our national security.

  171. The Clinton e-mails were on a server given to her by Colin Powell who warned her against using the State Dept. server. The few e-mails marked with a small c were marked with a C after the fact. Hillary Clinton was a former First Lady, NY State Senator and Secty. of State. She served her country with honor for 26 years, despite GOP lies and attacks against her integrity and competence. Now we have a Secty. of State with direct ties to Putin and oil interests in Russia and the Balkans. He has no experience in governance; he didn't even directly manage Texaco, middle managers did his job. The GOP is all in with this unqualified oil man known for his arrogance in charge of our State Dept. He has left vacancies in consulates and embassies, because he doesn't think it is important for Americans abroad to have any access to help with visas, or anything else. He has no interest in his job, even less than the tax cheat who also cheats a golf. Why is General Mattis still there? He has no influence over a man showing signs of early onset dementia. He has no influence over a Cabinet interested in self-enrichment.

  172. Meanwhile in the real world, if you want a job, you have to meet a certain threshold; you have to have a certain degree, or pass a certain test, or have a special certificate. The way this White House does its hiring to be an insult to everyone who IS qualified to do their job.

    I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

  173. While Trump screams about needing a wall on our southern border for 'security', there are people in his administration who are an alarming security risk.
    Mr. Lowell defends Kushner, saying that he takes issue with the idea that not having a security clearance affect his ability to do his job. Which is exactly what, Mr. Lowell? From my understanding, he's gone from Ambassador of Everything to Trump Whisperer who upends the staff at the White House. Really, what has Kushner accomplished? Why does he need access to top level classified information?
    And the idea that the lack of security clearances is just now gaining attention is false. Senator Ted Lieu has been tweeting about this on a regular basis. The corrupt and complicit Republicans (yes, you Trey Gowdy) are simply turning a blind eye to it.

  174. Gowdy is a hypocrite and I'm glad to see him go. His zeal with which he wasted my taxpayer dollars on the never ending Benghazi Witch Hunt is maddening! Trump and the Republicans ran an entire campaign against HRC based on the their "outrage" over her private email server and the lie that she compromised national security. Now, Gowdy turns a blind eye as Kushner and the Trump gang operate without proper security clearances with complete abandon. Kushner is meeting with the Saudis, the Israelis and God knows who else, with no security clearance, but armed to the teeth with State secrets. Gowdy, Ryan, McConnell, Nunes, Gaetz and the rest of the Republican mafia are nothing less than traitors. Our national security is secondary to keeping Trump, the Kochs, the Mercers, the Adelsons happy. This train wreck of the Presidency can't end soon enough!

  175. In this administration, nepotism always trumps national security.

  176. If someone has only interim clearance can he or she see all levels of classified information? If not, how does the WH prevent staff/advisors with only interim clearance from seeing the higher levels? Clear answers to these questions from the WH would be helpful for the public to understand and assess the President’s ability to manage and protect national security.

  177. It is treason letting our countries secrets fall into the hands of people ripe to be blackmailed.

  178. They have all been cleared by Fox News, what's the problem!

  179. Looking for honest news, NYTimes always delivers

  180. What's a few lies between friends and family?
    Picky, picky, picky.

  181. Midterms-vote GOP out...45 and the White House are the face of the GOP