Looks like Jared Kushner may have to retire his war-zone blazer.
On Tuesday, Politico broke the news that President Trump’s son-in-law turned White House adviser was stripped of his access to top-secret intelligence, with his security clearance downgraded to “Secret” from his interim “Top Secret/SCI-level.” The move was made by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and though Kushner’s father-in-law had the power to overrule the decision, he apparently refused.
Stephen Colbert, meanwhile, was elated.
“We got huge news this afternoon: First son-in-law Jared Kushner was denied his security clearance and has lost access to top-secret intelligence,” the Late Show host said during his monologue to roaring studio applause.
“What’s wrong with you people! How will he fix the Middle East now? He was so close to starting!” he jokingly added.
There is, of course, no love lost between Colbert and Kushner. The late-night host has repeatedly branded Kushner, a real-estate heir, “totally unqualified” and the beneficiary of nepotism, and further admonished him for playing dumb on Russia (though he doesn’t appear to hate him as much as his fellow late-nighter John Oliver, who’s seemingly desperate to see Kushner indicted by Mueller.)
“We just learned this a little while ago. Everybody at the White House with interim security clearances were told last Friday that they would be downgraded from ‘top secret’ to ‘secret’—merely ‘secret’ clearance—which means Kushner will only have access to nine herbs and spices,” cracked Colbert.
“But he’s still being investigated,” he continued, “and if the FBI does not approve him, he’ll be downgraded from ‘top secret’ to Pop Secret.”
With that, Colbert threw to a graphic of Jared Kushner’s head popping like a bag of popcorn.