White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has issued new guidance for doling out security clearances, The Washington Post reports, following the fallout from the resignation of Rob Porter, the former staff secretary. The White House's security protocol came into question after it was revealed that Porter was working on an interim security clearance, with access to highly classified information, even though the FBI had learned of domestic violence allegations against him leveled by his two ex-wives.
In a five-page memo addressed to several top administration staffers, including White House Counsel Don McGahn, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, Kelly calls for a series of reforms. Notably, he requests to "discontinue" any interim security clearances with high-level intelligence privileges for staffers whose background checks have been pending since June 1, 2017, and also suggests "[limiting] access to certain highly classified information for those individuals working with interim clearance status, absent explicit" approval from his office.
Porter resigned after the abuse allegations were made public last week, but Kelly has remained steadfast even after it was reported he'd known about the allegations for months. His outline for security protocol reveals "his desire inside of the White House to stay on as President Trump's top aide rather than step away," the Post writes. The document includes other highly specific suggestions, including mandating hand-delivery of all background checks from the FBI to the White House counsel.