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April 1, 2019

President Trump may have let his questionable security practices slip beyond the family.

On Monday, House Democrats said a whistleblower told them at least 25 people headed for the Trump White House had been denied security clearances, but somehow ended up with clearances anyway. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is now investigating those alleged security sidesteppers, and National Security Adviser John Bolton is on the list, The New York Times reports.

Trump has been criticized for what some call seemingly lax security standards since early in his presidency. His son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has come under the most scrutiny, with a January NBC News report saying Kushner was denied clearance after an FBI background check, but that Trump's personnel security head granted Kushner top secret access anyway. Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior adviser who's married to Kushner, faced similar skepticism.

After hearing whistleblower Tricia Newbold's account last month, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) requested summaries of just how Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Bolton got their clearances. Newbold said she or someone else in the White House's Personnel Security Office denied clearances for at least two people who are now Trump "senior officials," per the Times. Kushner appears to be at least one of the officials, but the other, who was denied for "possible foreign influence," is unclear.

Bolton has held major roles in several Republican administrations, presumably with a solid clearance under his belt, but Democrats seem to think he's in shakier territory this time around. Read more at The New York Times. Kathryn Krawczyk

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