John Kelly Outlines Improvements For Security Clearance Process

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly during a meeting where President Donald Trump unveiled his administration's long-awaited infrastructure plan in the State Dining Room at the White House on Feb. 12 2018

Following an embarrassing scandal that led to the ouster of a top White House aide earlier this month, chief of staff John Kelly signed off on changes to the way the White House handles security-clearance investigations involving its staff.

Kelly, who prizes his reputation for order, veers throughout the document from talking up his efforts to bring order to the White House while also stating that reforms must be implemented, reflecting his desire inside of the White House to stay on as President Donald Trump's top aide rather than step away following Porter's resignation.

The Washington Post was recently told by two USA officials that they don't think Kushner will receive clearance anytime soon.

Kelly's memo comes just over a week after White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned after allegations of domestic abuse against him became public. Porter during their marriages.

Cordish, whose family runs the Baltimore-based real-estate firm Cordish Cos., is one of the wealthiest members of the Trump administration, according to White House financial disclosures. Porter's ex-wives provided photographs of injuries they say they received during the alleged abuse.

An FBI official would then verbally brief the White House counsel on "significantly derogatory information" discovered during its investigation. Kelly on Friday outlined new security clearance protocols after questions were raised about Porter's access.

On Thursday, NBC News reported that only 10 of 24 National Security Council members listed on an internal White House document had been issued permanent security clearances as of November of previous year.

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The Personnel Security Office is said to have had Porter's completed FBI background check and was conducting its own investigation when printed the ex-wives' allegations.

At this point, it's reasonable to wonder if the president's son-in-law will ever merit permanent security clearance, yet in the meantime he enjoys access to classified briefings, top-secret and sensitive compartmentalized information, foreign leaders on behalf of the country, and, according to the Post, more requested intel than anyone who isn't a member of Trump's National Security Council.

Kelly also said the administration should work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to "reduce the time lag between the discovery of significant derogatory information from fieldwork to the disclosure to the White House", with a goal of informing senior staff of such information within 48 hours of discovery. He also said they began the clearance process and handing out those forms in October before the election.

He added, "The new policy announced by General Kelly will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President". Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray are all copied.

Additionally, the Chief of Staff wrote that the Personnel Security Office needs "major changes to reduce redundancies and bottlenecks".

The Post quotes two United States officials who say they don't think Kushner will receive a permanent security clearance at least in the near future.

"In the past, credible and substantiated reports of past domestic abuse - even physical abuse - were not considered automatic disqualifiers for suitability for employment or a security clearance".

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