President Donald Trump has ordered former White House chief of staff John Kelly to grant a top secret security clearance to Jared Kushner, senior White House advisor and president's son-in-law New York Times reported on Thursday.
Kushner, who held a very secret provisional authorization until February 2018, received a lower clearance after Kelly had conducted a review.
Kushner raised the issue with Trump, who pushed officials to approve the secret authorization of his son-in-law. Around May 2018, Trump ordered Kelly to grant Kushner security clearance, the Times reported.
According to the report, Kelly reportedly wrote a note of the time stating that he had been "ordered" to approve Kushner's security clearance despite reservations.
Don McGahn, who at the time was a White House lawyer, also feared allowing Kushner access to highly secretive information and wrote a memo in which he recommended it. to refuse one.
Read more: The 8 greatest conclusions of Michael Cohen's testimony against Trump
As president, Trump has the legal basis to grant a security clearance. If the White House's staff security bureau finds anomalies in the FBI's background check, the White House lawyer intervenes and makes a decision.
But before that, Trump denied using his influence to influence the process. In an interview with The Times last month, Trump said he was "never involved in security" and did not "want to be involved in this stuff".
Father Lowell, Kushner's attorney, also suggested to Kushner "to submit to the normal procedure" to obtain his authorization in 2018. A Lowell spokesman reaffirmed that Kushner had followed the procedure normal approval.
"In 2018, the White House and security verification officials claimed that Mr. Kushner's security check was handled in the usual way, without any pressure from anyone," Lowell newspaper spokesman told reporters on Thursday. Peter Mirijanian. "This was communicated to the media at the time, and the new stories, if true, do not change what was said at the time."
Kushner's security check has been reviewed by Democratic legislators and security experts. Many claimed that his mere presence in the White House was a sign of nepotism and that his access to highly secretive information could be a threat to national security. According to a NBC report released in January, two White House security experts had previously rated his security clearance application as "unfavorable" because of the potential influence of foreign entities.
Kushner has made more than a hundred mistakes in his SF-86, a comprehensive security application that lists foreign contacts and other relevant travel information. The head of the National Bureau of Background Investigations said that he had never seen a form with the number of omissions of Kushner.
"I've never seen so many mistakes," said Charles Phalen, director of the NBIB, at a meeting of the House subcommittee in February 2018.