Trump says son-in-law's clearance is up to Kelly

Letter: Trump should face his accusers

President Donald Trump said on Friday he will leave it to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to settle a security clearance dispute involving son-in-law and top aide Jared Kushner, but left little doubt he wants the case settled in a way that allows Kushner to keep his job. It also provided another layer of intrigue to the acrimonious relationship between Kushner and Kelly, who have been at odds over access to the President and the classified materials he views.

The White House's handling of security clearances has come under intense scrutiny in the wake of revelations that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter had worked for more than a year with only interim clearance.

Kushner's ability to lead a United States effort to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could be affected by new White House rules on access to classified information, Trump said.

Trump also said his senior adviser "has done an outstanding job" and that he thinks Kushner "has been treated unfairly", according to The Hill.

Asked if he thought President Trump would ever sack his daughter, Mr Wolff said: "I think that there is a pretty good possibility at this point that Jared will be indicted".

Their wait-and-see mode ended last week, when Kelly issued a new policy that would block staff members with interim clearances from receiving top-secret information as of Friday. A source familiar with the matter said earlier this week that the situation had caused tensions between Kushner and Kelly.

As President, Trump himself could grant any clearance to Kushner.

Kushner, a senior advisor and son-in-law to the president, continues to operate under a temporary security clearance.

In a memo to the White House staff, Kelly said he would cut off high-level access to numerous aides who had been unable to get a permanent clearance. The phone call was first reported by The Washington Post.

"We inherited a system that's broken".

Both the White House and Kushner's lawyer have insisted that, regardless of any action taken by Kelly, Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change. Kelly has interpreted that as a wide-ranging mandate that would include Kushner, the person said.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 23, 2018.

Much, but not all, of Kushner's work on those issues is handled at the lower secret or confidential clearance levels, which are not affected by Kelly's memo, a White House official said.

In addition, Kushner's actions during the transition have been noted in the guilty plea of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who admitted he lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

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