White House counselor Kellyanne Conway brushed off Fox News’ questions about the bombshell report that President Trump ordered his chief of staff to give his son-in-law top-secret security clearance despite concerns from intelligence officials, declaring on Friday that she simply won’t discuss it.
The New York Times reported Thursday that former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wrote a “contemporaneous internal memo” because he was troubled over the president's order and former White House counsel wrote another memo “outlining the concerns that had been raised” about Kushner by the intelligence community.
“This president secured the release of Otto Warmbier, who was in an unforgivable and near death condition and a coma as I understand it when he was reunited with his family and suffered a senseless death that none of us will ever forget,” Conway said. “The president, of course, holds North Korea responsible. I’ve said that at least half-a-dozen times in this interview. He said that Chairman Kim says he was not aware—of what he believes Chairman Kim said he was not aware of what happened to Otto Warmbier when it happened.”
Quickly moving on, Fox News co-anchor Sandra Smith then asked Conway if the president was involved in his son-in-law’s security clearance process.
“We don’t discuss security clearances,” Conway said curtly. “I’m not even gonna discuss my own. But I will tell you that the president has the absolute right to do what was described.”
She continued: “We aren’t going to discuss that. I will tell you as these stories are breaking Jared Kushner was over in the Middle East working on behalf of this country.”
“And I’m just wondering what the White House has to say about it now?” Smith asked.
“Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, said last night something I’ll repeat,” Conway responded. “Which is, we don’t as a White House generally comment on security clearances. If Ivanka Trump chose to comment and she has knowledge some of us don’t have, she has the right to do that.”