Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told MSNBC on Wednesday that he has “no idea how” President Donald Trump’s administration has given out security clearances to foreign agents and people convicted of felonies.
MSNBC national security and justice correspondent Julia Ainsley said that officials she spoke to from previous administrations said that applicants with these types of “red flags” on their records would never have been given clearance to view state secrets or any kind of classified documents.
“They would have been dismissed, especially if they were found to have lied,” Ainsley said, “as many of these people were who we saw in the report today.”
Ambassador McFaul said that he finds it utterly baffling how this can have taken place.
“I honestly do not know how this could happen,” said McFaul, “so to affirm that, this is something that needs further investigation and the Trump administration needs to look into it.”
There are different levels of security clearance, he explained, but said, “The process needs to be looked into because we do not want these kinds of people having any kind of security clearance whatsoever.”
“This sounds like something abusive, this sounds like something that did not get the proper attention,” said McFaul. “I find it really surprising that somebody as senior as Jared Kushner — who sits two doors down from the Oval Office — still does not have a proper security clearance.”
President Trump’s son-in-law has had to resubmit his request for a security clearance multiple times to add disclosures about meetings with foreign agents and officials as well as to make clarifications regarding financial disclosures.
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