the trump administration
November 16, 2017

He's been part of the Trump administration from the very beginning, but Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, still doesn't have a permanent security clearance, White House officials and others with knowledge of the situation told Politico Thursday.

Kushner is able to view extremely sensitive material with his interim security clearance, Politico reports, as he works on foreign policy issues, like attempting to bring peace to the Middle East. The White House told Politico it's "completely normal" for someone to work on a temporary security clearance for 10 months, and it can take up to 300 days for a permanent clearance to be granted. There's also a backlog because so many people in the administration have no previous government experience.

To get a security clearance, an applicant must complete an SF-86 form and list their foreign contacts. They have to hand over information on their finances, and their friends, family members, and former colleagues are interviewed. Since submitting his form, Kushner has had to make several changes, adding foreign contacts he didn't mention before, including meetings with Russians before the inauguration. Catherine Garcia

November 15, 2016

Donald Trump has never held a public office, but that hasn't exactly shaken his confidence that he will make a great president. Trump's close allies, though, are apparently feeling a little less sure that their outsider status will make them good at running the country.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson originally had his eyes on the Oval Office, running against Donald Trump in the Republican primary. After that failed to pan out, Carson came on as a close Trump ally and appeared to be in a position to get his pick of an office in the incoming administration. Nevertheless, Carson reportedly won't be joining the new administration, his close friend Armstrong Williams told The Hill.

"Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency," Williams said. "The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."

Carson had been rumored for secretary of education, and Williams reports the position of health secretary was floated as well. "Dr. Carson was never offered a specific position, but everything was open to him," Williams explained. Carson has already reportedly told Trump that he isn't interested.

That doesn't mean Carson plans to stay uninvolved entirely: Williams said the former neurosurgeon may continue to help out a Trump administration as an unofficial adviser. Jeva Lange

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