Trump Says Chief of Staff Will Decide on Kushner's Security Clearance

California state Sen. Tony Mendoza D-Artesia announces that he will take a month-long leave of absence while an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him are completed in Sacramento Calif. Whe

General Kelly will make that call. "I think he's been treated very unfairly", Trump said.

"That will be up to General Kelly", Trump said.

Trump on Friday said that Kelly is "going to do what's right for the country" with regard to Kushner's clearance. Some officials are expected to leave their posts as a result, while others will continue working with reduced - or no - access to classified information.

Some may be required to be "read out" of the information they are losing access to - a security briefing in which they again acknowledge the classified nature of the information and agree once more not to disclose it.

"He's working on peace in the Middle East and some other small and very easy deals", he said.

In his phone conversation with McGahn, Rosenstein meant to give an update on the status of Kushner's background investigation. The White House has repeatedly refused to comment on the clearances of senior staffers.

Kushner's interim clearance allows him to view both top-secret and sensitive compartmented information - classified intelligence related to sensitive sources.

Still, Kushner's security clearance woes could be swept away by his father-in-law, who as president can bypass the clearance process and grant anyone access to classified information.

"It shouldn't take this long", Trump said, apparently referring to the process of receiving a permanent security clearance.

"SCI" refers to 'Secure Compartmented Information, the most sensitive material in US government has.

White House communications director Hope Hicks, whose role in drafting a misleading statement about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower has drawn Mueller's scrutiny, obtained a full Top Secret and sensitive compartmented information, or SCI, security clearances - the highest levels of access - in November or earlier, according to information obtained by CNN from a United States government official. People familiar with the February 9 call said Rosenstein was returning a White House phone call seeking guidance on the status of his background investigation, among those of others.

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The policy change came amid an uproar over ousted White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who allegedly was allowed to handle classified information despite an Federal Bureau of Investigation background check that found credible accusations of domestic abuse.

The new information on Kushner that Rosenstein warned the White House about, though not publicly known, could put Kushner under further scrutiny by Robert Mueller's investigative team amid the Russian Federation investigation.

There are conflicting accounts about whether Rosenstein discussed with McGahn the significance of the information and its possible impact on Kushner's clearance. "There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", he said.

"Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President's agenda", Kelly said.

He complained that it had taken "months and months and months" for some of his staff members to be given their security clearances, despite the fact that some of them do not have complicated financial backgrounds - a factor that sometimes delays background investigations.

As of November, White House counsel Don McGahn - who has also been interviewed by Mueller's team - had received a Top Secret clearance, but was still working off interim access to SCI. But McGahn and Kelly made a decision to wait for the FBI to complete its background investigation and took no action at the time to change his access.

The deadline was forced recently after a scandal over a senior White House official accused by two former wives of abuse; he has since left.

Kushner is reportedly said to review the highly secret presidential daily brief each morning and has been in the room for some of Trump's most consequential domestic and foreign policy decisions.

Kelly last week announced that he will revoke top clearances for any aide with an interim security clearance whose background check has been pending since last June or earlier.

At his news conference Friday, Trump defended his son-in-law, who he noted does not draw a salary.

"We inherited a system that's broken". The phone call was first reported by The Washington Post.

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