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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Security risk Kushner: Trump’s latest major liability?


President Donald Trump’s senior advisor (and son-in-law) Jared Kushner lost his interim top-secret security clearance Tuesday after too many questions have come up in investigations to determine if he can be trusted to see America’s classified materials.

Kushner is just the latest to fail background investigations in the Trump White House.

Their clearances were dropped from Top Secret/SCI to the much lower level of “Secret,” which denies them access to most of the classified materials that come into the White House.

At various times over my 70 years on this earth, I have held a number of clearances from Uncle Sam, including “Top Secret” twice, a “Code Level” clearance at another time — all from the Department of Defense and the “Q” clearance from the Department of Energy (which gave me access to nuclear labs and other places).

I’m not even close to an textbook example of a good person.  I raised a lot of hell in my younger days, yet not one of those clearances were delayed or denied.  If I could qualify, what in the hell has Jared Kushner and others around Donald Trump done to fail to get clearance?  And since many of them operated on an “interim clearance,” approved by Chief of Staff John Kelly, what did they have access to that they weren’t approved to see?

As president, Donald Trump does not have to be cleared by anyone to have access to just about anything he wants to see or use as a tool for pretty much anything he wants.  Those close to Trump say he would never get a clearance approved if he had to go through the normal checks.

To make matters worse, we now know that officials in at least four countries have looked at ways to manipulate Kushner because of his “complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experiences.”

Current and former U.S. officials, The Washington Post reports, say the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico feel Kushner could be “played” and that knowledge helped sink his chances for a full Top Secret Security Clearance.

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, had contacts with foreign officials without coordinating te meetings through the National Security Council and did not report those meetings, as required by law.

Sources within Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller say he has raised “serious questions” about “protocols” used by Kushner when setting up such meetings.

“He’s in debt up to his ass and he owes much of that to questionable foreign operations,” says one lawyer familiar with the investigation.  “He shouldn’t be allowed in the White House with a visitor’s pass, much less a grand title and security clearance.”

White House aides worry that Kushner could be the next indictment from Mueller and his office and some have urged Trump to move Kushner out of the White House before that happens.

Such actions, however, would probably not come without approval of Ivanka, Trump’s eldest daughter — Kushner’s wife — and also a senior aide to her daddy.

“Kushner, at this point, is the president’s biggest liability and has to go,” says one aide. “A lot of what might happen depends on whether Ivanka supports her husband or her father.  She is the deciding factor.”


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