Trump ordered John Kelly to give Jared Kushner a security clearance

Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow take part in a meeting between US President Donald Trump and China's Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington DC on February

Trump ‘Ordered’ John Kelly to Grant Jared Kushner a Top-Secret Security Clearance: Report

Cummings' letter comes after The New York Times reported Thursday that the President personally intervened to secure his son-in-law Jared Kushner a security clearance, despite concerns from career officials.

Senator Chuck Grassley watches as Jared Kushner speaks with Donald Trump during a signing ceremony on December 21, 2018.

The order came last May, according to the report, when the president had Kelly grant Kushner a security clearance despite then-White House counsel Don McGahn recommending against it.

The Times report contradicts claims by Trump, Kushner's lawyer Abbe D. Lowell, Ivanka Trump and others that Kushner received the clearance as a result of the normal process.

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Earlier on Fox, Conway had said that while they won't comment on security clearances, "the president has the absolute right to do what was described". The president told the New York Times in a January 31 interview that he did not direct Kelly or similar officials to grant a clearance for his son-in-law, and Ivanka Trump similarly told ABC News earlier this month that her father was not involved in the process.

He went on to say that the administration has failed to provide "any information regarding the security clearance of any specific White House official, and the President has asserted no constitutional privilege to withhold this information from Congress".

Kelly, a former general and Homeland Security Secretary, resigned as chief of staff at the end of a year ago. Cummings said he and his staff have since written and spoken to White House officials multiple times about obtaining documents and witnesses, but to no avail.

Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland gave the White House counsel's office until March 4 to comply with the request. With that designation, he has been able to attend classified briefings, get access to the president's daily intelligence report and issue requests for information to the intelligence community. Kushner was granted permanent security clearance in May after a year of background checks.

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"We don't discuss security clearances", Conway said.

Kushner's lack of SCI access suggests that the CIA has not signed off on his receiving that level of intelligence, security experts said.

Kushner's "clearance had been held up in part over questions from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. about his foreign and business contacts, including those related to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Russian Federation", according to a report by The Times citing "multiple people familiar with the events".

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