Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior White House adviser, has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance after Trump's chief of staff John Kelly ordered changes to the security clearance system.
The Washington Post reports that several concerns had been raised inside the White House over Kushner’s contacts with “certain foreign government officials”, which contributed to the rejection of his application for permanent security clearance.
National security adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly requested intelligence briefings on conversations where foreign leaders discussed interactions with Trump officials, including Kushner.
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The request was made after McMaster learned that Kushner had contacts with foreign officials without informing or coordinating with the National Security Council.
According to CNN, at least four countries had sought to take advantage of Kushner’s complex international business dealings, lack of experience and apparent financial problems.
Mexico, Israel, China and the United Arab Emirates are all believed to have discussed those as possible leverage points when dealing with Kushner, according to “current and former US officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter”, CNN says.
The New York Times says the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, saw Kushner as a “target of influence”, noting that the United Arab Emirates has been a “particularly influential player” in policy areas Kushner has directly overseen.
The security downgrade is expected to sharply impact Kushner’s role as senior advisor to Trump, and will see his access to some of the most sensitive material, including the presidential daily brief, cut off entirely.
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