Trump says Jared Kushner's security clearance is up to chief of staff

Trump Doesn’t Want A Sitter So He May Dump John Kelly And Have No Chief Of Staff

"He'll continue to do the important work that he's been focused on for the past year".

There is no indication that Mueller is close to wrapping up his investigation, and an impending crackdown by White House chief of staff John Kelly aimed at restricting access to classified information for those with long-pending interim clearances is expected to nix or downgrade Kushner's interim security clearance.

A report from the New York Times earlier this week said that Kushner's "resisting" giving up his access in a clash with Chief of Staff John Kelly.

"General Kelly respects Jared a lot", Trump said, adding, "I have no doubt he'll do the right thing".

Trump on Friday said that Kelly is "going to do what's right for the country" with regard to Kushner's clearance.

Almost a year after the administration's arrival, some high-level officials - including daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband - remained with provisional credentials to access such information, even when other senior advisers were given full access.

Earlier this week, the White House maintained that Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change.

At the press conference, the president heaped praise on Kushner, calling him a master dealmaker and saying he'd "done an outstanding job".

Trump also complained the security clearance system for the White House is "broken", but said he won't interfere with Kelly's decisions on the matter.

In his phone conversation with McGahn, Rosenstein meant to give an update on the status of Kushner's background investigation. 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.

Kushner moved into the White House with the administration in late January 2017. But Vanity Fair says that by issuing a red line, Kelly has pulled off a "political masterstroke" by training more spotlight on the president's ethics, which will endure whether he stays or goes. The White House has repeatedly refused to comment on the clearances of senior staffers.

Options included giving Kushner a lesser clearance that would allow him to keep doing his job. With that designation, he has been able to attend classified briefings, get access to the president's daily intelligence report and issue requests for information to the intelligence community.

Aaron David Miller, who served as a senior adviser on Israeli-Arab peace to USA secretaries of state from 1988 to 2003, wrote on Twitter that "based on years in biz, doing Arab-Israeli negotiations requires access to top secret and codeword 411" - referring to code-word information out of reach of even those with permanent, top-secret security clearances. Typically, senior officials do not get interim access to top-secret and sensitive compartmented material for more than three months, experts said.

It is highly unusual for multiple senior officials to spend months serving with only interim clearances, a problem that Mr. Kelly privately began talking about fixing in September.

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