Trump on Kushner's Security Clearance: 'Kelly Will Make That Call'

Sheldon Adelson right talks with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before a speech by President Donald Trump at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Adelson has proposed paying for at least part of the new U.S. embas

Trump on Kushner's Security Clearance: 'Kelly Will Make That Call'

"I think he's been treated very unfairly".

During a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump responded to a question about Kushner's clearance with praise for his daughter Ivanka Trump, as well as Kushner's "outstanding" work. But Trump said Friday that he would leave that decision to Kelly.

"I have no doubt he will make the right decision", Trump said.

The overhaul follows a scandal in which White House staff secretary Rob Porter was allowed to handle classified information under an interim security clearance despite multiple domestic violence allegations.

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White House officials had not ruled out the idea of Trump potentially using his executive authority to grant Kushner a permanent security clearance, which would circumvent the traditional process. He noted that Kushner does not receive a salary.

A CNN legal analyst on Friday pinpointed why President Donald Trump's insistence on employing his family members in the White House has caused them so many headaches. He was very successful when he was in the private sector. "So if the president chooses to give [Kushner] access to Middle East information, he will get that access". He's had to amend his security clearance questionnaire several times to include meetings he's had with foreign nationals, including Russian agents.

Trump wants to do what he wants when he wants, and one gets the sense that although Kelly has been incredibly weak as the chief of staff, he is still the only person providing even shred of order to the chaos that is this administration. "It shouldn't take this long".

The White House maintains that Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change, but won't explain why.

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"It's a broken system, and it shouldn't take this long", he said. Most prominent among them is Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, who has had access to some of the nation's most sensitive material for the past year while waiting for his background investigation to be completed.

He highlighted Kushner's work in the Middle East peace process, which he said was making "great headway".

"Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President's agenda", Kelly said. Two people said the deputy attorney general told McGahn the Justice Department had obtained important new information, suggesting it could be an obstacle to his clearance process.

The situation is especially complicated for Kushner because the FBI isn't sharing information with the White House that would typically be relevant in a background investigation for security clearance.

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"I have definitely had cases over the years where there was a parallel criminal investigation ... that was happening at the same time as there was a clearance investigation", Zaid said.

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