President Trump reportedly ordered his then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to grant his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance in 2018 despite concerns from intelligence officials and White House counsel. According to The New York Times, Trump’s directive in May prompted Kelly to write an internal memo describing how he was “ordered” to give Kushner the clearance. Then-White House counsel Don McGahn also wrote a memo of his own reportedly “outlining the concerns that had been raised” by agencies like the CIA, and how he had “recommended that [Kushner] not be given a top-secret clearance.” While Kushner’s clearance was upgraded, he never received a higher-level designation that would allow him access to “sensitive compartmented information,” the newspaper reports. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the Times that the White House does not “comment on security clearances.” A spokesman for Kushner’s lawyer told the paper they stood by the White House’s previous assertions that Kushner’s clearance was obtained through “the regular process with no pressure from anyone.” This comes as Kushner recently met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a trip to the Middle East.
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