01:53 GMT +325 September 2018
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    Nothing to See Here: Dozens of Trump Staffers Without Top Security Clearance

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    A new report has revealed that dozens of White House employees exposed daily to top secret information are working without top-level security clearances.

    US officials recently told The Washington Post that the staffers have been given temporary approvals while the FBI completes background checks. 

    Security clearance for White House staffers recently came under the spotlight after White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter resigned on Wednesday after facing accusations that he verbally and physically abused both of his previous spouses.

    Porter denied the accusations, but one of his ex-wives, Colbie Holderness, provided The Intercept with a photo of herself with a black eye that she asserted was at the hands of Porter.

    Multiple White House aides admitted to Politico that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had known for weeks that Porter would be denied full security clearance by the FBI due to a history of spousal abuse.

    Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and close political advisor, has also not yet received full security clearance. Kushner has had to make changes to his security clearance form multiple times, which, according to legal experts, is unprecedented. As the FBI continues a background check on Kusher, a special counsel is looking into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.

    The delay in processing security clearances is thought to be partially due to the fact that many people in the Trump administration have not previously had government jobs or have been shown to possess numerous foreign ties. 

    A recent Government Accountability Office study found that the security clearance investigation backlog was at some 190,000 cases in August 2014, but surged to over 709,000 by September 2017.

    "If we are going to solve this problem, we are going to have to fix the way we issue clearances, by both getting faster and better at the process of vetting and clearing people, or ultimately denying people clearances and moving them on to other opportunities," asserted Jamil N. Jaffer, founder of the National Security Institute at the George Mason University Law School and a former associate counsel to US President George W. Bush.

    "The current challenge cannot go unaddressed for much longer," Jaffer remarked.

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    Tags:
    security clearance, FBI, Donald Trump, Washington D.C
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