Chief of Staff Kelly to decide on Kushner's security clearance

White House: Security Clearance Crackdown Won't Affect Kushner's Job

President Donald Trump said Friday he will not decide himself whether to allow Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to keep his temporary security clearance, telling reporters at the White House he'll leave the matter to his chief of staff John Kelly.

"I will let General Kelly make that decision", Trump said Friday at a joint press conference with Australia's Prime Minister.

"I have no doubt he will make the right decision", Trump said. Less than 48 hours before the key directive about interim clearances was set to take effect, the officials said they and their colleagues had yet to receive any additional guidance on the memo's implementation.

But in an interview with the Post last summer discussing this topic, Alan Dershowitz, a prominent scholar of constitutional and criminal law who knew Kushner when he was a student at Harvard, said the FBI's clearance process was a traditional procedural hurdle - not a legal one.

In recent weeks it has emerged that Mr Kushner is still on a temporary security pass despite serving in the president's inner circle for the previous year and sitting in on high-level intelligence briefings.

Jared Kushner's path to a full security clearance may have just gotten more complicated.

Trump said the US effort to make a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians is "actually making great headway".

Earlier in February, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein called White House counsel Don McGahn to inform him that there were ongoing issues with Kushner's security clearance.

Kushner's clearance to see classified materials is reportedly being held up while Special Counsel Robert Mueller looks into his contacts and business ties with Russian nationals and companies
Trump's son-in-law raises security concerns (Editorial)

Given Kushner's multiple redactions to his security clearance forms as well as his financial disclosure forms, it's really anyone's guess what is keeping Kushner from getting a full security clearance.

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is one of the president's top advisers and works on a myriad of high-level and sensitive national security issues such as brokering peace in the Middle East. Further, this call may be what sparked Kelly to announce his policy change.

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.

"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.

Trump heaped praise on Kushner, a leader in the administration's attempts to resurrect moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

In addition, Kushner's actions during the transition have been noted in the guilty plea of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"We inherited a system that's broken".

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