Kushner's clearance up to chief of staff Kelly

Letter: Security clearances, lack of sanctions worrisome

Although White House chief of staff John Kelly will make the final call on a security clearance for senior adviser Jared Kushner, a top Justice Department official reportedly alerted the Trump administration about significant information on the USA president's son-in-law requiring additional investigation that would further delay the process.

Rosenstein allegedly spoke with White House counsel Don McGahn on February 9, telling him that additional information was required from Kushner that would cause further delays for President Trump's son-in-law, who has been using a temporary security clearance since joining the White House.

Trump, at a joint news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said "General Kelly respects Jared a lot and General Kelly will make that call" on how to resolve the issue. "And [Kelly's] going to do what's right for the country".

Still, Kushner is reportedly said to review the highly secret presidential daily brief and has been in the room for some of Trump's most consequential domestic and foreign policy decisions.

Kelly said last week that officials who applied for security clearances before July, but still have not been granted permanent access, would have their temporary clearances taken away.

Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior policy adviser, has been running a small team out of the West Wing that is drafting a comprehensive plan for achieving Middle East peace - one of the president's primary foreign policy goals.

Kushner is doing "an outstanding job", Trump added, despite having "been treated very unfairly".

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"He is a high-quality person".

In this photo taken on September 1, 2017 White House staff secretary Rob Porter looks on after US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC. "He gets zero. He doesn't get a salary".

A top official at the US Justice Department brought new information related to Jared Kushner's ongoing background check to the attention of the White House earlier this month. That episode also prompted Kelly's crackdown on interim clearances. Rosenstein conveyed to McGahn that the clearance process was still ongoing, the source said.

Information for this article was contributed by Carol D. Leonnig, Robert Costa, Josh Dawsey, Shane Harris, Sari Horwitz, Ellen Nakashima and Julie Tate of The Washington Post; and by Jill Colvin and Zeke Miller of The Associated Press.

"We inherited a system that's broken".

While the FBI vets all White House staff to ensure they can be trusted to handle such information, the president has the power to override the judgment of federal law enforcement. "There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", Kelly said. "He works for nothing".

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