15:46 GMT26 November 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Earlier, former White House security advisor-turned whistleblower Tricia Newbold told Congressional Democrats that President Trump quashed concerns regarding over two dozen officials who were denied access to top secret information over alleged criminal conduct, suspected foreign influence, financial problems and drug use.

    A source claiming to be familiar with Newbold's testimony has told Yahoo News that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are "Senior White House Official 1" and "Senior White House Official 2" mentioned in the memo sent to the House Oversight Committee by its Democratic members. 

    According to the memo, Newbold and a first-line adjudicator denied "Official 1" security clearance after a background investigation revealed "significant disqualifying factors, including foreign influence, outside activities ('employment outside or businesses external to what your position at the EOP [Executive Office of the President] entails'), and personal conduct."  Carl Kline, director of Trump's personnel security office, was said to have overruled these concerns.

    In the case of "Official 2," Newbold told staffers that she "recommended against" the application, providing an "extremely thorough" 14-page adjudication summary "that described multiple disqualifiers, including foreign influence and outside activities." Kline reportedly told Newbold that she should "not touch" the case, with the clearance subsequently approved.

    The report to the House Oversight Committee also mentioned a "White House Official 3," but the Yahoo News' source did not mention who that might be. "Official 3's" security clearance denial stuck after Newbold refused to change her recommendation to deny the application, according to the memo. Senior Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings addressed concerns about the three individuals in a letter to the White House and said he plans to subpoena Kline.

    Speculation about Jared and Ivanka's security clearance has dogged Trump since well before the 2016 election, and has continued well into his presidency. Commenting on Newbold's testimony, social media users predictably divided along familiar pro-Trump anti-Trump lines.

    The president's supporters accused lawmakers of "grasping at straws" in the wake of the collapse of the Russiagate investigation, sarcastically dismissing the new claims and asking for proof of illegal activity.

    Trump's opponents made the opposite claim, asking Representative Cummings to subpoena Jared and Ivanka as "national security threats."

    Others, including the journalist who penned the Yahoo News piece featuring the 'anonymous source', took a more comedic approach, while some users complained about how convoluted the anti-Trump claims have become.

    Finally, a few straggler anti-Trumpers even tried to swing the story around back to Russiagate, despite the fact the collusion narrative was debunked following the release of a summary of special counsel Mueller's probe last week.


    Russiagate Poster Boy Adam Schiff May Lose Intel Clearance Over Constant Leaking
    CNN Likens Trump to Illiterate in Story on Why Ivanka Has Security Clearance
    Donald Trump Pressured Kelly to Grant Security Clearance to Ivanka – Report
    US House Democrats Seek Criminal Probe of Jared Kushner Over Security Clearance
    Trump Demands WH to Grant Kushner Top Security Clearance Amid US Intel Concerns
    security clearance, Tricia Newbold, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Elijah Cummings, Donald Trump, US
    Community standardsDiscussion