The Kushner Security Clearance Noise

On March 5, 2019, Democrats and their mainstream media allies tried to deploy yet another tactic in their endless efforts to disrupt the internal working of the Trump administration.  This time, it was over the matter of security clearances.  National security in the White House is a strange issue for Democrats to pursue now, given the recent history of the Obama administration.

For just one stunning example among several, Huma Abedin not long ago had a high-level security clearance in the Obama White House.  As Hillary Clinton's longtime assistant, Huma held that clearance while working as a top aide to Hillary — Obama's secretary of state.  That clearance continued despite warnings from five members of Congress, who as early as 2012 alleged that Abedin had "immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations," which they said were "potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance."  But now Democrats are pretending to be intensely concerned about potential threats to American security by scrutinizing the current president's own close family members.

Huma is not just any random Muslim from just any nominally Muslim family.  In fact, the ties of her family to dangerous operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood should terrify you.

Curiously, while Huma was a George Washington University student in 1996, she began working as an intern in the White House.  Well, there are a lot of interns who come and go.  So that part is not necessarily so scary.  But Huma did not stop there.  Right away, she somehow became assigned to then–first lady Hillary Clinton.  Gaining that key job was a stunning jump for a 19-year-old Muslim student, who moved directly into close association with the top levels of power in America.  She held that close position over the next two decades.

Any fair look at the chain of those events has to make us wonder: how could it all be coincidence?  Is it not reasonable to presume that Muslim Brotherhood agents played a part in placing Huma there?

Back then, Democrats could not be bothered by such questions.  In fact, they even went out of their way to disparage the people who were daring to ask them.  So now that the Trump administration is in power, what can we make of the Left's newfound concerns about security clearances in the White House?  Let's take a look and see if it adds up to more than noise.

On May 23, 2018, it was reported that President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had been granted his permanent security clearance.  This action, at the request of the president, followed months after Kushner's interim security clearance had been downgraded, amid new rules issued by then–White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Kushner had previously held an interim security clearance until late February 2018, when Kelly set a deadline for halting access to top-secret information by anyone in the Trump administration whose applications had been languishing so far.  So, in the aftermath effect of Kelly's decision, Kushner's temporary clearance was downgraded from "interim top secret" to "interim secret."

Kushner had been working in the administration without a permanent security clearance for almost a year.  That long delay was evidently just one among an apparent backlog of multiple people who were all waiting for approval.  So the first logical question might be, who or what was systematically delaying that approval process?

The White House had already faced scrutiny for its security clearance handling after former staffer Rob Porter was accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives.  He had also worked for a year with only an interim clearance.  In that case, Trump agreed that Porter was not fit for a clearance and sent Porter packing in February 2018.  For obvious reasons, no one wants such political baggage, let along charges of a wife-abuser within the security ranks of the White House, no matter how competent a staffer he might be.

The FBI has now finished its file on Kushner and delivered it to the White House personnel security office.  Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell said, "Mr. Kushner's application was properly submitted, reviewed by career officials, and went through the normal process.  Having completed these processes, Mr. Kushner is looking forward to continuing the work the President has asked him to do."

So, in the process, the delays and the Porter debacle give the appearance that, even if well intentioned, it was bad strategy for Trump to hire John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, as White House chief of staff.  The intent had perhaps been to show the public that the White House would be run efficiently, like a military operation.  But Kelly soon wore out his welcome and was also dismissed this past December.

These dismissals and delays and this intense scrutiny have been political, not criminal.  No laws were broken in the process of White House work.  Kushner is uniquely qualified to manage many aspects of Trump's policies, from prison reform to negotiating plans that might bring American strength, if not peace, to the Middle East.  Let the guy do his job.  Unlike Huma Abedin, who was seemingly placed in power by the actual enemy, Kushner is not any security threat.

Instead, here we are, almost a year later, after Porter is gone, and now Kelly is gone.  But the issue that is still supposed to matter, according to a CNN report published recently, is that Trump "pressured" then–chief of staff John Kelly to grant the clearances so it wouldn't look as if the president was inappropriately influencing the process.  Kelly refused to comply on Trump's timeline, and so Trump then granted the security clearances himself, which he has the right to do.

The Democrats pounced: "We are deeply disturbed by recent reports that President Trump ordered his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, to grant Jared Kushner a security clearance, overruling intelligence officials who raised concerns about the clear national security risks of doing so," Democrat lawmakers wrote in an early March 2019 letter to Attorney General William Barr.

The Democrats are pushing past the boundaries of reason and strategy by presuming to uphold strict standards of security, while, effectively, they just want to block Trump from doing his job.  First of all, Trump's security critics have no legal leg to stand on, especially when dealing with Attorney General Barr, who is unlikely to cave to their pressure.  Secondly, the public does not care about paying such close attention to these security clearances, as proven by their recent indifference to ones held by the likes of Huma Abedin, a seeming Muslim Brotherhood proxy, who almost became a top presidential aide under Hillary.

The public is probably content to let Trump have final say about whom he trusts and wants to work with, including members of his own family.  But public opinion will not stop the Left's obstructionists from making so much noise out of all of it.

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