Son-in-law and adviser to the president Jared Kushner regained his security clearance Wednesday, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Kushner’s clearance has been contested over the last few months after he was stripped of his credentials in February. Chief of staff John Kelly shook up the clearance process at the time following the resignation of former White House aide Rob Porter, who maintained the check after he was accused of physically assaulting several past spouses.
At the time, senior White House personnel such as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders maintained that Kushner would still be able to perform his duties, which include tackling peace in the Middle East, with full capacity despite a lack of top-secret security clearance.
“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 a statement.
In a memo further explaining his thinking, Kelly wrote that the public deserves 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.”
Yet members of Congress remain skeptical of Kushner’s performance. Back in March, 25 House Democrats called for the president’s aide to either resign or get the ax after officials from Qatar claimed they could prove that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) influenced Kushner, which, in turn, resulted in President Donald Trump endorsing a Qatari blockade.
“It is impossible for the American people or their elected Representatives to have faith that Jared Kushner will put their interests above his own personal and financial interests,” the letter, signed by the 25 lawmakers, read in part.
And in February The Washington Post reported that several other overseas nations — UAE, China, Israel, and Mexico — were discussing ways of manipulating Kushner to push U.S. foreign policy in each nation’s favor. Some White House officials told the Post they feared Kushner was “naive and being tricked.”