Ex-CIA official Phil Mudd explains Kushner's 'huge' security clearance downgrade: 'More significant than it looks'
WH aide and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner (left) and CNN analyst Phil Mudd (right).

White House adviser and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner on Tuesday had his security clearance downgraded from "top secret" to "secret" — a distinction CNN commentator and ex-FBI agent Phil Mudd called "huge."


"It looks odd from the outside but it is huge," Mudd told host Jake Tapper and his co-panelists during "The Lead." 

"If we're intercepting communications of a foreign power, for example intercepting communications from Iran, Syria, North Korea — he can't see them," the former CIA and FBI operative said, noting that Kushner has lost access to "the most sensitive" type of information that comes from human sources. 

"The most significant" foreign informants, Mudd continued, are classified "top secret," and would now therefore be above his clearance.

Mudd went on to explain that if Kushner is in the room with the president when the secretary of state or a national security adviser enters to discuss intelligence with him, it will create conflicts as to what he can and can't hear.

"This is more significant than it looks," he concluded. "It's a huge difference between 'secret' and 'top secret.'"

Watch below, via CNN: