Kushner's security clearance restored, met with Mueller team a second time

Annette Crawford
May 24, 2018

US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has had his top security clearance restored, US media report.

The 37-year-old aide and envoy - who is married to Ivanka Trump - lost his top-level security clearance amid a broader White House shakeup in February, restricting his access to America's most closely guarded secrets.

The news of the Mueller interview comes as ABC News has learned Kushner has been granted a permanent security clearance on Wednesday after a lengthy review by the White House and Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks for security clearances routinely examine an applicant's financial holdings and foreign contacts.

Mr Kushner was given a wide brief in his role as a White House adviser despite a lack of political experience.

Even though there have been many questions about Kushner's foreign contacts and business dealings over the last few months, his lawyer insists that the clearance process wasn't delayed because of the Russian Federation special counsel investigation.

Lowell said the permanent clearance will allow Kushner to access "all the material that he needs, and all the material he got in the past, in order to do the job the president has asked him to do".

Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Kushner, said in a statement: "With respect to the news about his clearances, as we stated before, his application was properly submitted, reviewed by numerous career officials and underwent the normal process".

He said Kushner's clearance was decided by career officials in the intelligence community and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Kushner's lawyer said he has been cooperative with all congressional probes and Mueller's office. "He answered all questions asked and did whatever he could to expedite the conclusion of all the investigation". He said career staff at the White House and in an intelligence agency, typically the CIA, generally make the decisions about restoring a clearance.

Kushner serves as a senior adviser on the Middle East and other issues.

Whether the restoration of Kushner's clearance is somehow related to his cooperation with Mueller is not immediately clear.

Kushner had to file three updates to his national security questionnaire, a form that guides the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and asks for information about a person's employment history, finances, family, travel and other matters.

When Kushner first filed his SF-86 form shortly after President Donald Trump's election in 2016, it listed precisely zero contacts with foreign officials. This caps a almost 18- month review of his security application, which was held up after Kushner failed to disclose contacts he had with foreign officials - including Russians - as required by law.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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