White House Tightens Security Clearance Procedures After Abuse Allegations

John Kelly announced significant changes to the White House's security clearance and hiring processes on Friday as he took steps to protect the administration from bringing aboard another Rob Porter.

Russian Federation already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMeghan McCain: Melania is "my favorite Trump, by far" Dem lawmaker to Trump: "How dare you lecture us about treason" Husband of former Trump family personal aide joins EPA: report MORE has reportedly requested more intelligence information than nearly every other White House official.

U.S. President Donald Trump's son-in-law is one of many White House staff officials who could see their security clearances revoked.

Saying that recent events had exposed some "shortcomings", Kelly decreed that any interim security clearances for staffers whose background investigations have been pending since June 1 or before would be discontinued in a week.

Rob Porter is not the first individual to be employed and given clearance despite domestic abuse allegations.

Kelly touted changes he has already made to the security clearance process, writing that "security clearances were one of my earliest and most immediate concerns" when he became chief of staff last summer.

The development and implementation of written protocols about the review of security files, and to work alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigation to create best practices.

But people who worked on both sides of such investigations in past administrations said in interviews this week that the White House's portrayal of the role played by the security office is inconsistent with how it previously operated.


For any future approved interim clearances, only grant a temporary clearance for 180 days, with an option to extend that 90 days, absent any "derogatory information".

As staff secretary, Porter had direct access to President Trump and likely handled documents with classified information. He also requested "status reports" on pending background investigations "at least once a month". He also plans to create a working group to examine the process, involving the heads of the Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency. That has eroded in a week's time, as accounts about the handling of the Porter matter continue to shift and some aides came to believe Kelly lied to save face and save his job.

Echoing words from White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah and Vice President Mike Pence, Kelly indicated that they could have done better handling the Porter situation. The White House says the subsequent portion of the background check process, conducted by the White House personnel security office, was ongoing at the time of Porter's resignation.

Wray is declining to elaborate on what information was passed on to the White House.

Kelly goes on to say that office, referred to as "PSO", needs major changes to reduce redundancies and bottlenecks.

"Over the past week, I have convened a number of after-action meetings with you and others overseeing the clearance and suitability review processes", Kelly wrote.

Later, Kelly writes, "But recent events have exposed some remaining shortcomings", beyond the changes Kelly implemented since taking over as chief of staff previous year.


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