The White House calligrapher now has greater access to sensitive information than White House adviser (and President Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner.
Kushner’s security clearance was downgraded from top secret to secret, a huge cut to what information he has access to, including the President’s Daily Brief. The Daily Brief contains all top-secret information the President needs to know. Kushner has had access to the information for over a year.
Chief of Staff John Kelly rescinded Kushner’s clearance after it was discovered there were many White House staffers who were handling top-secret information without a permeant clearance. In early February, It was discovered that ousted Secretary Rob Porter had not received his permanent clearance due to domestic abuse charges. Jared Kushner has not received his clearance reportedly because of suspicious over-seas financial transactions.
Kushner had been operating under a temporary security clearance. Kelly mandated that if any staffer had applied for permanent clearance before last June, and still had not received it, they would lose their temporary status. Time was up.
Obviously, Kushner’s security situation would have been front-and-center to those in charge of processing applications. The fact that he couldn’t secure top-secret status implies there is something terribly wrong with his background. Kushner needed to make multiple ammendments to his application form, as it was pointed out time and time again he had left off required information. His inability to provide investigators with complete information left Fox News host Sheppard Smith to comment that other people who have done the same have wound up in prison.
The failure of Kushner to hold a top-secret security clearance is an embarrassment to the Trump Administration, as Kushner is considered to be one of Trump’s top aides. To put it in perspective, the White House calligrapher has top-secret clearance, and her primary job is to write invitations in fancy lettering to guests of the White House. A 2015 report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that there were 1,363,483 government employees and contractors who held top-secret clearances.