Kushner Can’t See The Secret Stuff

Ken AshfordTrump & Administration, White House SecrecyLeave a Comment

Politico has the story:

Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded — a move that will prevent him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access.

Kushner is not alone. All White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances — at the Top Secret/SCI-level — were informed in a memo sent Friday that their clearances would be downgraded to the Secret level, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

The SCI acronym stands for sensitive compartmentalized information, a category of information that comes from sensitive intelligence sources and must be walled off.

The memo was not signed by chief of staff John Kelly, but it comes as the retired Marine general and other top White House aides are grappling with the fallout of a scandal involving former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, which revealed that dozens of White House aides had yet to receive permanent clearances but nonetheless had access to some of the country’s deepest secrets.

Trump has been saying that he will leave the decision on these matters to Kelly, even though he has the power to override that decision and give anyone security clearance that he damn well wishes.

This puts the President in a tight spot as his responsibilities as president bump up against his familial relationship — which is yet another reason why his nepotism has always been a terrible idea.  If he does not give Kushner a pass, then Kushner — who has an extensive portfolio including Middle East peace — cannot do his job and basically becomes a wall ornament.  On the other hand, if Trump gives Kushner a waiver, what about all the others in the White House?

In related news:

Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci reiterated his call for the ouster of Chief of Staff John Kelly, citing low White House morale.

“He’s lost the locker room,” Scaramucci said at the NewCo Shift Forum in San Francisco on Tuesday. “The morale in the White House, on a scale of 1-10, is minus 15. You cannot run the White House through fear and intimidation.”

Yeah. I can’t imagine a worse place to work, even as a Trump supporter. Dysfunction AND bad pay.