National security reporter Ken Dilanian thinks that the main reason that the White House is lying about Jared Kushner’s recent nepotism example is that they’re all embarrassed.
It was reported this week that President Donald Trump personally asked that his son-in-law be given top security clearance so that he could attend meetings and work on the extensive docket he’s taken over. Both the FBI and CIA had reservations about Kushner’s clearance because his international relationships could put him in a position to be manipulated.
MSNBC host Kasie Hunt asked why the White House all lied about it.
“You can only theorize but why lie? Because it’s embarrassing to have to do that because your son-in-law cannot qualify for a security clearance,” said Dilanian. “The career specialist who looked at Jared Kushner’s application concluded he could not be trusted or should not be trusted with the nation’s secrets and they were overruled.”
He noted that NBC News reported the whistleblower complaint from a staffer who was ordered to dismiss the rules and procedures to authorize Kushner’s clearance.
Those working on the background checks were so “freaked out about this decision; they felt they had to write it down,” noted Hunt.
“This is both an FBI background check for one level of clearance and CIA background check for a different level of clearance,” Dilanian continued. “They both flagged significant concerns about foreign influence in Jared Kushner’s background. He failed to list his foreign contacts when he filled out his form, which most people say from a regular person would exclude you. He had special treatment, and he got more special treatment and raised a host of questions.”
Washington Post reporter Phil Rucker clarified that none of this is a normal thing that happens in every administration. The White House has normalized it, but Rucker explained it’s a charade.
“In a traditional, normal White House, someone who is a senior adviser to the president, if they’re not able to get a security clearance for whatever reason, they’re no longer the security adviser to the president,” Rucker said. “They don’t hang in these job two years waiting for clearance and having the president intervene.”
While this is within the authority of a president, it’s not generally something that’s done, according to Rucker.
“And we should also point out just the pattern of deception on this issue, the president has lied about it repeatedly, the White House staff has lied about it repeatedly, Ivanka Trump lied about it,” he continued. “Although I don’t know how much she personally knew about the circumstances. But people have not been truthful and honest and transparent with the American people about the process, even though it’s allowed.”
Watch the full discussion below:
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