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President Donald Trump's son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, has had his top-secret security clearance downgraded, blocking access to sensitive intelligence briefings and information as White House officials continue to deal with the ramifications of the Rob Porter scandal.
In addition to Kushner, all White House aides working with top-secret interim clearances have been downgraded while the review process for personnel security continues, says Politico.
The changes to the security logistics in the White House come as chief of staff John Kelly faces criticism for his handling of the allegations of domestic abuse against former staff secretary Rob Porter when it was revealed that over 100 top aides were not granted permanent security clearances despite having access to highly sensitive materials.
The president said Friday he would leave decisions concerning personnel security to Kelly.
“I will let General Kelly make that decision,” Trump told reporters. ”I have no doubt he’ll make the right decision."
At a press briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to answer questions about Kushner's security status, but in a statement released last week, Kelly said Kushner would still be able to work in the White House and complete his duties.
“As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in the statement.
The chief of staff sent out a memo earlier this month informing White House aides of proposed changes to the security clearance process in an attempt to address the issues brought to light by the Porter controversy.
“The American people deserve a White House staff that meets the highest standards and that has been carefully vetted — especially those who work closely with the president or handle sensitive national security information,” Kelly said in the memo. “We should — and in the future, must — do better.”