Two career White House security specialists rejected Jared Kushner's application for a top-secret security clearance, but a supervisor dismissed their recommendation and approved it, two people with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.
Their decision came after Kushner's FBI background check raised red flags, and there were concerns about his foreign entanglements. The supervisor, Carl Kline, became director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, and Kushner wasn't the only person to get a pass: Kline overruled at least 30 other rejections of incoming Trump officials, NBC News reports. Prior to Kline's arrival, it was rare for rejections to be overruled.
Kushner didn't just want a top secret clearance — he tried to get access to sensitive compartmented information, or SCI, which is a higher designation. SCI material includes transcripts of intercepted foreign communications and reporting from CIA sources, and it's the CIA that decides whether to give SCI clearance to top White House officials. After they conducted their background check on Kushner, NBC News reports, one CIA agent called the White House security division and asked how Kushner managed to get a top secret clearance. Ultimately, Kushner was not granted clearance for SCI, NBC News reports. For more on security clearances and what goes into background checks, visit NBC News.