Jared Kushner Just Lost His High-Level Security Clearance

Downgrade!

Ting Shen/ZUMA

Jared Kushner, who has been working under an interim security clearance, has lost the administration’s highest level of security clearance, the SCI-level, three sources told Politico on Tuesday. All other White House officials in similar positions also had their clearances downgraded.

The issue over Kushner’s interim security clearance has been the subject of intense speculation since the fallout over Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary who was fired earlier this month after his two former wives went public with domestic abuse allegations. The White House came under fire for allowing Porter to handle classified information, despite lacking the full security clearance to do so. 

The news Tuesday comes days after President Donald Trump publicly indicated that he would allow his chief of staff John Kelly to make the final decision on Kushner’s security clearance. “I won’t make that call,” Trump said in a press conference Friday. “I will let the general, who is right here, make that call.” The remarks made it clear that while he would leave the decision up to Kelly, the president strongly believed his son-in-law should be allowed to keep his access to top-level confidential material even without a permanent clearance.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the Justice Department had informed the White House earlier this month that there were significant, outstanding problems with Kushner’s application that were delaying his security clearance.

Even as recently as Tuesday afternoon’s press briefing, the White House had repeatedly refused to answer questions about the status of Kushner’s security clearance. 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.