Jared Kushner, a White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, defended his security clearance Monday, saying all the accusations against him during the past two years have turned out to be false.
“Over the last two years that I’ve been here I’ve been accused of all different types of things and all of those things have turned out to be false,” Kushner told Fox News.
Earlier Monday, CNN reported that a White House staff member had told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues, and warned of the grave implications to national security, according to a senior Democratic lawmaker. The concerns included fears about foreign influence and potential conflicts of interests.
A source familiar with the case told CNN that Kushner and Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and a White House adviser, are on the list of 25 individuals.
“We’ve had a lot of crazy accusations, like that we colluded with Russia,” Kushner told Fox and said he had “complied with all the different investigations” and had sat for nearly 20 hours of interviews.
When asked if he thought he was endangering national security by having a top-secret clearance, Kushner said he believed that “because of the President’s leadership, the world is safer today.”
House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings released a memo on Monday detailing an interview with Tricia Newbold, a White House employee who has worked for 18 years in Republican and Democratic administrations and currently serves as the adjudications manager in the Personnel Security Office.
Newbold alleges the White House overturned the denials of 25 individuals, including two current senior White House officials, and said those decisions were occurring “without proper analysis, documentation, or a full understanding and acceptance of the risks,” according to the memo.
Cummings said he plans to issue a subpoena this week demanding an interview with Carl Kline, who served as the personnel security director at the White House during Trump’s first two years in office.
For his part, Kline said he was willing to testify and asked the committee not to subpoena him.
CNN’s Manu Raju, Nikki Carvajal, Sara Murray and Lauren Fox contributed to this report.