Whistleblower Says Trump Administration Overruled Several Security Clearance Denials, Including for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump

A longtime White House official who oversaw the issuance of security clearances for top White House aides said President Donald Trump's administration granted clearances for at least 25 people originally denied them. Those who received clearances included the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and daughter Ivanka Trump, according to Reuters.

Some of the reasons for getting denied clearance included drug use, criminal conduct and foreign influence, according to The Associated Press.

Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, issued a memo Monday that outlined the overruled security clearance accusations made by Tricia Newbold, who currently works as the adjudications manager in the Personnel Security Office. She has served in the White House for the past 18 years, under both Republican and Democratic leadership, the Cummings memo stated.

"According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct," the memo read.

Cummings said his committee conducted "a detailed, on-the-record interview" with Newbold, whom he first called a "whistleblower."

"She has come forward at great personal risk to warn Congress—and the nation—about the grave security risks she has been witnessing firsthand over the past two years," Cummings wrote.

According to the memo, Newbold came forward out of concern for national security.

"I would not be doing a service to myself, my country or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security," Newbold said.

The Cummings memo stated Newbold "has informed the Committee that during the Trump Administration, she and other career officials adjudicated denials of dozens of applications for security clearances that were later overturned." As a result, she warned that security clearance applications for White House officials "were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security."

Since Newbold's interview, Cummings has asked the White House to turn over the list she created, as well as documents related to the handling of security clearances for several senior officials, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Kushner and former White House aide Rob Porter.

The Associated Press reported that Cummings would first subpoena Carl Kline, who formerly worked in the White House as Newbold's supervisor and personnel security director. Kline is now at the Department of Defense.

In response to the Cummings report, Representative Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, called Newbold a "disgruntled" employee. Jordan called it a "partisan attack" and an excuse for Democrats to siphon White House records.

Jordan accused Democrats of "cherry picking" the Newbold testimony.

"Ms. Newbold also acknowledged that the President has ultimate authority over security clearances and the Trump White House has made improvements to the security clearance process," Jordan wrote.

Kushner's top security clearance has been in question for months, not only from Cummings but from former chief-of-staff John Kelly.

"In 2018, White House and security clearance officials affirmed that Mr. Kushner's security clearance was handled in the regular process with no pressure from anyone," a spokesperson for Kushner's attorney said last month. "That was conveyed to the media at the time, and new stories, if accurate, do not change what was affirmed at the time."

According to the report, Kelly and other high-level officials recommended that Kushner not receive clearance at that level, though President Trump used his authority to override that decision.