Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Trump son-in-law Kushner gets security clearance back

A. Pineiro  CC BY 2.0 A. Pineiro CC BY 2.0
Pete Mitchell | 24 May, 2018, 09:11

Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of US President Donald Trump and one of his closest advisers, received a permanent security clearance on Wednesday, dispelling doubts about his possible recent loss of clout in US relations with Mexico, China and Israel.

He also said that based on his experience with the special counsel, he hasn't seen anything to suggest that Kushner is more than a witness in the investigation. Kushner previously spoke with investigators in November and was primarily asked about matters involving former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

"With respect to the news about his clearances, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process", Lowell told The Times. His initial security clearance application didn't list dozens of foreign contacts that he later included in updated submissions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. And Mr. Trump, who once considered Mr. Kushner a trusted adviser, continues to tell friends he wishes that Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump would return to NY, although Mr. Trump has not voiced this view to his daughter and Mr. Kushner in several months.

His first interview in the probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election occurred last fall.

Gaining a permanent security clearance potentially relieves tremendous weight on Kushner, whose contacts with foreign officials during Trump's transition to the White House were subject to major scrutiny and damning media reports. Then, in June, Kushner filed a third addendum acknowledging a meeting he had in June 2016 at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer offering damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

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Speaking with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday, Lowell refused to repeat the exact questions Kushner was asked by the special counsel, but he did share the topics they discussed.

Last February, Kushner lost the temporary top secret clearance he had enjoyed since Trump came into power in January 2017, and his access to sensitive intelligence information was curtailed, although he did retain a lower clearance level, that of "secret".

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner recently obtained a full security clearance, Fox News has learned, months after his interim security clearance was downgraded amid new rules issued by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

His lawyer, who said Kushner recently sat for a second interview with Mueller's team, denied that those mistakes had anything to do with the delay.

The resolution of his clearances does not guarantee that Mr. Kushner faces no legal jeopardy.

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