Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Clearance Sale At The White House

Bothe the NY Times and Washington Post are reporting that a White House whistleblower came  forth to House Democrats last month in order to report that more than two dozen denials of security clearances were overturned by top Trump regime officials and that the two of the people initially denied security clearances for national security reasons are Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.  The NY Times story:

A whistle-blower working inside the White House has told a House committee that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees for “disqualifying issues” that could put national security at risk, the committee’s Democratic staff said Monday. 
The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a private interview last month that the 25 applicants included two current senior White House officials, in addition to contractors and other employees working for the office of the president, the staff said in a memo it released publicly
The memo does not identify any of the 25 people. But one of the senior White House officials appears to be Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. 
NBC News reported in January that Carl Kline, who until recently served as the head of the personnel security division and was Ms. Newbold’s boss, had overruled a decision by career security officials concerned about granting Mr. Kushner a clearance.

The New York Times reported in February that President Trump had ordered his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, to grant a clearance last year to Mr. Kushner. The president had earlier said he had no role in the clearance. 
Democrats on the oversight panel are also demanding information from the White House about the process of granting a clearance to Ivanka Trump, among others. Ms. Trump’s final clearance was granted shortly after Mr. Kushner’s. In an interview in February with ABC News, Ms. Trump insisted her father had no hand in either her clearance or her husband’s.

Ms. Newbold told the committee’s staff members that she and other career officials had denied the 25 applications for a variety of reasons, including “foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct,” the memo said
The denials by the career employees were overturned, she said, by officials with more seniority who, by her account, did not follow the normal procedures meant to mitigate security risks and generally adhered to by other administrations.

The Washington Post story focuses more on Newbold, and gives us a major clue as to a third current WH official.

A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration, calling Congress her “last hope” for addressing what she considers improper conduct that has left the nation’s secrets exposed. 
Tricia Newbold, a longtime White House security adviser, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that she and her colleagues issued “dozens” of denials for security clearance applications that were later approved despite their concerns about blackmail, foreign influence or other red flags, according to panel documents released Monday. 
Newbold, an 18-year veteran of the security clearance process who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, said she warned her superiors that clearances “were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security” — and was retaliated against for doing so. 
Newbold’s allegations intensify pressure on the White House over its handling of security clearances, a controversy that burst into public view last year with the revelation that dozens of staffers had temporary approvals to access sensitive government information while they awaited clearance approval. 
Among them was presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, who President Trump ultimately demanded be granted a permanent top-secret clearance, despite the concerns of intelligence officials. 
Newbold alleged that 25 individuals were given clearances or access to national security information since 2018 despite concerns about ties to foreign influence, conflicts of interests, questionable or criminal conduct, financial problems, or drug abuse.
That group includes “two current senior White House officials,” according to documents released by the House Oversight Committee. 
The panel did not identify the senior White House officials but asked the White House to immediately provide documents related to the security clearances of nine officials, including Kushner, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and national security adviser John Bolton
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the committee chairman, said in a letter to the White House Counsel’s Office that his panel would vote on Tuesday to subpoena Carl Kline, who served as personnel security director at the White House during the first two years of the administration — the committee’s first compulsory move aimed at the White House. 
Newbold alleged that Kline, then her direct manager, overruled her clearance denials and then retaliated against her when she objected.

Yep, our third contestant appears to be John Bolton's Mustache.

And the Clearance Sale continues.

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