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On Clearance: Must Kushner Go?

Jared Kushner, advisor and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, speaks on his cellphone before a meeting between Trump and the British Prime Minister on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on January 25, 2018.
Jared Kushner, advisor and son-in-law of US President Donald Trump, speaks on his cellphone before a meeting between Trump and the British Prime Minister on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on January 25, 2018.

Jared Kushner is tasked with some high-level responsibilities as the senior adviser to President Trump. Kushner, who is also the president’s son-in-law, has worked to negotiate a peaceful resolution to long-standing conflicts in the Middle East, met with leaders of ally nations like Saudi Arabia and talked trade with China and Mexico.

But this week, his access to top-secret intelligence, including highly classified information, was restricted. Kushner’s background check has not cleared, even after Kushner spent months of working for the administration, leading White House chief-of-staff John Kelly to pull the plug on much of what Kushner can hear and see in his role.

Others on staff in the White House, from top aides to the president’s daughter, Ivanka, also had their security clearances downgraded or called into question. Now the world is watching to see if losing access to sensitive information will hobble the ability of these staffers to do their jobs.

We pose that question to security and intelligence experts and discuss the process that determines who gets to see the nation’s most confidential information.

GUESTS

Mark Zaid, Managing partner, Law Office of Mark S. Zaid; adjunct professor, Johns Hopkins University; @MarkSZaidEsq

Evan Lesser, Co-founder and managing director, ClearanceJobs.com

Meagan Metzger, Founder and CEO, Dcode; @meaganmetz

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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