President Trump reportedly ordered his former White House chief of staff John Kelly last year to grant a security clearance to his son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
The New York Times reports that Trump ordered Kelly in May to override the security concerns of top U.S. officials and grant a top-secret clearance to Kushner, whose clearance had been downgraded from that level earlier in the year.
The report of Trump’s order, which the Times said was documented at the time by Kelly in a memo, contradicts statements the president made to the newspaper last month in which he claimed he had no role in the reinstatement of his son-in-law’s security clearance.
A spokesman for Abbe Lowell, Kushner’s attorney, told the Times for its report Thursday that the White House conveyed to Kushner that his security clearance was handled under normal procedures.
“In 2018, White House and security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner’s security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone. That was conveyed to the media at the time, and new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time,” the spokesman said.
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