John Kelly orders changes to the White House security clearance process

John Kelly orders changes to the White House security clearance process

John Kelly orders changes to the White House security clearance process

Ms. Sanders following his testimony acknowledged that she couldn't say "with 100-percent certainty" that officials including Mr. Trump's Chief of Staff, Gen. John Kelly, and White House Counsel Donald McGahn had been unaware of the red flags that had been thrown up to block the security clearance for Mr.

Kelly's memo on future clearance practices is addressed to White House Counsel Don McGahn, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, National Security Advisor H.R.McMaster, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Joe Hagin.

Amid national scrutiny over the hiring of the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of abusing his former wives, the White House is responding by fixing its process to clear officials who work with sensitive national security information.

Kelly's memo comes just over a week after White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after allegations of domestic abuse against him became public. Going forward, all BIs of potential Commissioned Officers should be flagged for the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the outset and then hand-delivered to the White House Counsel personally upon completion.

The Porter saga has also raised serious questions about how the White House handles security clearances.

Despite White House assertions otherwise, none of this is normal - either how long someone as high-level as Kushner has been able to keep their temporary clearance, or how long it has taken to do the background checks across the White House, according to experts on the subject. He said those changes made "significant progress" to the building's security clearance processes, which he pointed out were "one of my earliest and most immediate concerns".

The Trump administration has said Porter's security-clearance investigation remained open because the White House Personnel Security Office, which approves clearances, had not finished its work.

Some Democratic lawmakers and women's advocacy groups have called for Kelly to step down over his handling of the Porter matter.

Yet, 13 months later, Porter still had interim clearance as the authorities continued to evaluate what the White House now says are "credible" and "true" allegations of domestic abuse. "Now is the time to take a hard look at the way the White House processes clearance requests".

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Dozens of other White House staffers have been working under the short-term solution for months. "That needs to be revisited", Kelly wrote.

The new guidance includes status updates for background investigations, and an end to interim security clearances, except under extraordinary circumstances.

Kelly's announcement was an attempt to shore up security clearances in the wake of Porter's resignation.

"Failure to revoke Mr. Kushner's temporary clearance would set a risky precedent for these other cases by signaling a willingness to tolerate unacceptable national security risks", the 13-page complaint states.

Over 130 appointees, in fact, reportedly lack full clearance despite holding positions that typically require it.

"The committee is investigating the policies and processes by which interim security clearances are investigated and adjudicated within the executive branch, and the extent to which any security clearance issued to Porter comported with those policies and processes", Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a letter to Kelly.

That change could potentially put at risk the clearance of Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and a powerful senior adviser.

Have a goal of receiving a briefing about any "significant derogatory information about senior staff" within 48 hours of discovering it.

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