U.S.

Even Bill Clinton's Calligrapher Had Better White House Security Clearance Than Jared Kushner

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner delivers remarks on the Trump administration's approach to the Middle East region at the Saban Forum in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2017. On Friday, Kushner was told his security clearance had been downgraded from top secret to just secret. Bill Clinton's White House Chief Calligrapher claimed he had top secret clearance while serving in Washington. Reuters

Even Bill Clinton’s White House Chief Calligrapher had higher security clearance and access to more sensitive information than senior advisor and President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has since Friday.

Kushner was told his top secret clearance had been downgraded to just secret, a move that effectively cuts him off from sensitive information he previously had access to during his time in the White House.

Even Rick Paulus, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush's White House Chief Calligrapher, had top secret clearance. 

But speaking to CNN, Paulus, admitted that while he had top secret clearance he "never, ever dealt with intelligence matters." Paulus claimed the top secret clearance was necessary in order to access the president’s schedule and gain a close proximity to world leaders.

The Graphics and Calligraphy Office (GCO) is a unit of the Social Office at the White House, situated in the East Wing. Staffers coordinate and produce all non-political social invites, place cards, presidential proclamations, letters patent, military commissions, service awards and official greetings from the president.

Patricia Blair, the current chief calligrapher, had top secret clearance as of November 2017, reported CNN. It is unclear whether her clearance has since been revoked, but there is no evidence to suggest it has.

 

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The White House Chief Calligrapher designs and creates all social and official documents. In 2017, Blair’s salary was $102,212, according to an annual report to congress on White House office personnel.

In 1860, Mary Todd Lincoln was given the job of writing White House invitations which informally started the office of the calligrapher. Eventually Lincoln’s tasks expanded to an entire team.

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