A White House security manager who alleges she was punished for accusing her boss of flouting security procedures and engaging in discriminatory practices based on her sex and disability is seeking whistleblower protections.
The complaint by Tricia Newbold was submitted to the US Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency that handles whistleblower complaints. Despite having similar names, the Office of Special Counsel is not related to the special counsel’s office that Robert Mueller leads within the Justice Department that is investigating Russian election meddling.
NBC News first reported Newbold’s seeking of whistleblower protections.
Newbold was a veteran manager in the White House office that processes security clearances and had worked there since 2000. She previously accused her former supervisor, Carl Kline, of repeatedly overruling her team’s determinations that there were certain people should not receive a security clearance, including the President’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, according to NBC News. Newbold previously confirmed to CNN that there were around 30 cases deemed “unfavorable” by the adjudicators in the Office of Administration.
Newbold alleges in the complaint that she emailed Kline about a security clearance for an unnamed individual in July 2017, “recommending we contact an employee pertaining to discrepant information we received.”
“He advised he would not; to which I questioned why we were treating this individual any differently than we would any other individual,” the complaint reads.
According to Newbold, Kline responded saying he would wait until the FBI investigation was completed. Kushner was operating on an interim security clearance for more than a year after he joined the White House.
CNN has reached out to Kline for comment. When informed he was the subject of an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint, he texted NBC News “I don’t care.”
Newbold was suspended on January 30 for two weeks without pay for failing to implement and follow new procedures and policies put in place by Kline. Newbold, however, alleges the suspension was a reprisal for an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint she filed against Kline.
Her allegations included that Kline had endangered national security by breaking the law and flouting security procedures and of discrimination against her as a woman with a rare form of dwarfism.
The letter of suspension from her and Kline’s boss, chief security officer Crede Bailey, denied it had anything to do with Newbold’s complaint or “alleged whistleblowing activity.”
CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.