Kelly to decide Kushner security clearance

Arizona House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro R-Avondale speaks during a legislative session at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. Two former Republican Arizona lawmakers who are leading candidates to fill a vacant

President Donald Trump on Friday said that White House chief of staff John Kelly will ultimately "make that call" regarding whether to waive or revoke Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner's interim security clearance.

Kelly, a retired Marine general, has also made it known that Trump's personal intervention would pose a problem and possibly undercut his authority in the West Wing. "General Kelly will make that call". "And I have no doubt he will make the right decision".

Kelly issued a memorandum last week detailing changes to how the White House issues security clearances in the wake of Staff Secretary Rob Porter's resignation on February 7 amid domestic abuse allegations.

He has been working with an interim security clearance in the meantime, which affords him access to some of the same classified information President Donald Trump sees. For a time, it looked like Kelly might have to follow him out the door, and Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump were urging President Trump to replace him with more of a pushover, Vanity Fair reports.

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They will be able to create the required cap room to offer James a max contract starting at US$34 million (AU$44 million). You need a team behind you, a team that is talented enough, mature enough, and hungry enough to win.

The federal inquiry into Kushner's background has been ongoing since past year.

Federal law enforcement agencies conduct extensive background checks on White House staff to ensure that they can be trusted with the government's secrets, and are not susceptible to blackmail by foreign powers.

"As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico".

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.

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A DOJ spokesperson gave a statement to WaPo saying, "The Deputy Attorney General has not referenced to the White House any specific concerns relating to this individual's security clearance process". According to several reports, White House officials were aware of both the allegations against Porter and the impact on his clearance.

In his first public comments on the matter, Mr Trump said: "Jared is truly outstanding. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", he said. "Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president's agenda. And Gen. Kelly will make that call", Trump said.

As someone who meets regularly with foreign officials and reads classified intelligence, Kushner would typically have a fast-tracked background investigation, security-clearance experts said.

"It seems to me that he should have restricted access to highly classified material until the resolution of those issues", Bauer said.

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