Tillerson, Kelly internally complain about Kushner encroachments: report

Tillerson, Kelly internally complain about Kushner encroachments: report
© Camille Fine

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump rattles White House with Bolton shake-up Kellyanne Conway on White House departures: 'Get with the program or get out' Petraeus: Watch how Pompeo tackles lagging State Department appointments MORE and White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE have voiced frustration about Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJim Carrey paints Kushner as 'self-unmade man' The Daily Show jokes Trump’s new legal counsel is a TV Mueller investigates, Peters quits Fox, White House leaks abound MORE's encroachment on Tillerson's position, according to a report from Politico.

Tillerson is reportedly frustrated with Kushner's involvement in foreign affairs, which are usually handled by the nation's diplomatic corps. Kushner, however, has been responsible for Israeli-Palestinian relations, as well as U.S. relations with Mexico and China.


Tillerson has also reportedly expressed frustration about U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyHouse Intel Dem criticizes Trump for not taking ‘responsibility’ for mistake in congratulating Putin Trump calls author of book aimed at debunking 'Fire and Fury' UK: Ex-spy’s poisoning ‘leads inexorably to the Kremlin’ MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster over what he reportedly sees as an encroachment on his position.

“We can’t have four secretaries of state,” Tillerson said. 

Politico also reports that Kelly has repeated Tillerson's complaints, which reportedly have not been taken well by Kushner. 

"We need a secretary of state who is supportive of the president," Kushner told Kelly, according to Politico.

The Hill has reached out to the White House and the State Department for comment.

Kelly is in the process of grappling with the issue of Kushner's security clearance in the White House.

The White House has implemented new procedures on security clearances to ensure swift and comprehensive background reviews for staff with access to sensitive information in the wake of the scandal surrounding domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter. 

Porter was able to review classified information on a partial security clearance for months despite the fact that the FBI informed the White House that his two ex-wives had accused him of abuse.

The incident drew attention to Kushner's security clearance.

Kushner is reportedly one of only a few people in the White House with access to the president's daily intelligence briefings.

Trump said on Friday that Kelly would have the final say on Kushner's security clearance. 

“I will let Gen. Kelly make that decision,” Trump said at a news conference. “And he's going to do what's right for the country. And I have no doubt he will make the right decision.”