- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 10, 2018

Upwards of 40 people in the administration, including Jared Kushner, the president’s son-and-law and close adviser, continue to lack permanent security clearances more than a year into the Trump presidency, according to multiple reports.

Dozens of White House officials and political appointees currently operating under Mr. Trump are doing so with temporary security clearances while awaiting the results of FBI-conducted background checks, The Washington Post and CNN separately reported Friday.

The delay in obtaining a permanent security clearance specifically for Mr. Kushner has become so bothersome that White House Counsel Donald McGahn and other administration officials have been hesitant to request investigations into other potentially problematic individuals, The Post reported, citing several unnamed sources.

White House spokesman Raj Shah said he was precluded from discussing the specifics of the security clearance process, CNN reported, and an attorney for Mr. Kushner, Abbe Lowell, claimed the delay wasn’t uncommon, The Post reported.

“I have inquired and been told that there are a dozen or more people at Mr. Kushner’s level whose process is delayed like his; that it is not uncommon for this process to take this long in a new administration (some taking as long as two years); that Mr. Kushner’s will take longer than usual because of the extent of his holdings, travels and lengthy submissions; and that there was no concern about the process or Mr. Kushner’s ability to do his job,” Mr. Lowell told The Post in a statement.

“This is just the latest in unnamed sources quoting second-hand hearsay concerning Mr. Kushner that, like the others, will be shown to be untrue,” the attorney added.

The FBI conducts background checks for government agencies, including the White House, subsequently used to determine whether applicants are worthy of receiving permanent security clearances up to “top-secret.”

Absent a permanent clearance, Mr. Kushner has relied on temporary security clearances granting him only interim access to classified documents, albeit notwithstanding his role as one of the president’s closest advisers, the reports said.

Mr. Kushner, 37, married the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, in 2009. Both have served in the administration since 2017.

Rob Porter, Mr. Trump’s staff secretary prior to resigning this week amid allegations of domestic violence, also lacked at a permanent security clearance at the time of his departure, The Post and CNN reported.

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