Friday, 16 November, 2018

White House says new security clearance policy will not affect Kushner's work

Kushner divests from his most expensive NYC property Amid Security Clearance Snags, Kelly Says Kushner Has 'Full Confidence' to Retain Foreign Policy Portfolio
Edward Snyder | 22 February, 2018, 01:14

Nothing should keep Jared Kushner from pressing ahead in trying to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace, the White House chief of staff, John Kelly, said as reports of a rift between Kelly and President Donald Trump's key adviser proliferated.

"Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president's agenda", Kelly said of Kushner. Kushner holds one of these interim clearances because of mistakes he made on his forms and the complexity of his financial holdings, the Times reported last week.

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.

"I can tell you that no decision within the memo will impact anything that Jared Kushner is working on", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

Kelly has been dismissive of Trump's son-in-law, but has said he will have access to the material he needs.




The Times had asked Kelly about reports that he is rolling back security access for staffers whose security clearance is still pending. "He continues, and will continue, to be a valued member of the team".

After questions were raised whether the new clearance policy would affect Kushner, Kelly issued a statement saying he had "full confidence in (Kushner's) ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico". Porter also had a temporary security clearance. "And he'll continue to do the important work that he's been focused on with the past year".

Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said that the president could intervene to over-ride his chief of staff. Kelly added that Kushner would still have access to information with the new security clearance process in place.

According to the news network, this is the first indication that Mueller's enquiry into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election is focussing beyond Kushner's alleged Russian contacts.

Kelly announced the change in access after coming under withering criticism for the way he handled domestic abuse allegations against White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

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