Jared Kushner dismisses concerns raised by White House whistleblower on security clearances

FBI Whistleblower: Kushner was one of 25 Trump Officials to Have Security Clearance Overridden

Ocasio-Cortez's comments came as lawmakers were debating the need for additional subpoenas after Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversees the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, said she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year due to their backgrounds. "There is no way on the oversight committee we can do our job". Democrats on the panel released a summary of her interview, conducted over the weekend, raising new questions about how and why the White House issued security clearances to, among others, Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law.

The denials by the career employees were overturned, she said, by more-senior officials who did not follow the procedures created to mitigate security risks.

Newbold told the committee that the Personnel Security Office recommended against security clearances - which allow access to top secret materials - for the 25, Cummings said.

Is any of this evidence that any of the officials Trump granted clearances to via such waivers handed classified information over to hostile foreign powers?

But the 18-year veteran of the White House said they were pressured to change their recommendations and overruled by Kline and higher-ups.

"According to Ms Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal conduct", the memo said. They say the Trump administration has declined to provide those documents despite repeated requests.

Republicans have lashed out at the security clearances investigation, calling it a "partisan attack on the White House".

Cummings said Newbold came forward at great personal risk because she feared Republican retaliation.

Mueller report brings moment of reckoning to USA politics
The White House has not received or been briefed on the report, spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Sunday morning. He said that therefore, Congress will "look at a broader picture", when investigating President Donald Trump.

Under point no. 5, Republicans made sure to mention that Newbold "testified that only 4-5 of her unfavorable 25 adjudications were for 'very serious reasons'".

Finally, the staff said that Newbold acknowledged during her interview with the committee that the Trump administration has begun to improve some aspects of the security clearance process.

The chairman of the oversight panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., plans to subpoena Kline to force him to testify before the committee.

"I'm terrified of going back", she is quoted as saying in the letter, which Mr Cummings sent to White House counsel Pat Cipollone. He also asked Cummings to postpone taking action on a subpoena.

According to the letter obtained by CNN, Kline is a current government employee and a former "nonpolitical employee" of the Executive Office of the President and "is more than willing to cooperate with the Committee to the extent he is permitted to do so by law".

The White House has not commented on the testimony.

Newbold said that when she returned to work in February, she was cut out of the security clearance process and removed from a supervisory responsibility.

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