The Trump administration has an issue with security clearances. Today, more than 30 White House staffers had in their security clearance downgraded from “top secret” to “secret.” This clearance level will be given to these staffers until their background checks are done processing. It’s a bit awkward, since the security clearance may be a hindrance to the Trump administration’s operatives. While their background checks are being processed, none of the individuals have been asked to leave or resign.
White House staffers are required to pass a background check because they will be dealing with sensitive private and public information that can be disastrous if placed in the wrong hands. One of these individuals that are being affected is the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Jared Kushner versus John Kelly
There is a feud between Kushner and Kelly, that is now even more pathetic with the decision to downgrade Kushner’s security clearance. For Kushner, the news of his downgrade came after revelations that four countries have discussed using Kushner as a chess piece, hoping to manipulate him to gain access to sensitive information. Kelly is the person who mandated Kushner’s downgrade and has been designated as the chief antagonist.
However, not one to follow directions or care about the weight of security clearances, Trump has noted that the downgrade in the security clearance will not affect Kushner’s ability to do his job. Independent security experts and even those within the White House are wondering how Kushner can continue his role and hold talks with foreign leaders without access to pertinent, top-secret intelligence.
These security downgrades come after Kelly announced that he would review temporary security clearances earlier this month. This was due to a report that former staff secretary Rob Porter had – for some reason – obtained a security clearance despite a background check that failed to flag allegations of domestic abuse from his past wives.
This administration is riddled with scandals and controversy – and it’s tiring.
Featured image via Getty/Alex Wong