Top Oversight Dem wants information on fired Trump aide's background check

Top Oversight Dem wants information on fired Trump aide's background check
© Moriah Ratner

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: What to expect in omnibus | HIV expert to head CDC | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases Coherent strategy needed beyond limited sanctions to counter Russian aggression House Oversight Dems: GOP blocking request for Trump admin records MORE (D-Md.) is demanding information on the background check of a close Trump aide who was fired Tuesday amid scrutiny over the administration's security clearances. 

“This recent report about President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon House passes 'right to try' drug bill Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE’s personal assistant is just the latest indication that the process for vetting White House employees for security issues is seriously flawed," tweeted Cummings after reports that John McEntee was fired because of an ongoing investigation into financial crimes. 

McEntee, a close confidant of the president who is now being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, is the latest White House staffer to be pushed out over security clearance concerns. 

Following the resignation last month of staff secretary Rob Porter amid reports of domestic abuse, Democrats and some Republicans have sought clarity from the administration on its security clearance process.

In a letter to White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, cited reports of an "unspecific security issue" regarding McEntee, and called for all documents related to McEntee's vetting by the White House and FBI background check. 

"I have been warning for more than a year about the White House's deficient background check process — as well as specific officials who have been granted access to our nation's most closely guarded secrets despite derogatory information known to White House officials," Cummings wrote to Kelly.


The Maryland Democrat also said Kelly had "stonewalled congressional oversight efforts," referring to the official inquiry into White House background check processes by committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHouse Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller Overnight Regulation: Groups sue over decision to end pay-data rule | EU proposes tax on tech companies | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases | Pruitt spent 5K on first class flights Overnight Energy: EPA says Pruitt's security detail flies first class | Lackluster offshore drilling sales | Oil companies snag leases near Bears Ears monument MORE (R-S.C.). 

Gowdy is demanding a sit-down meeting with White House staff after the administration turned down his request for information into the decision to grant an interim security clearance to Porter. 

Cummings backed Gowdy's request and asked Kelly to also provide a full list of any White House staff who have received interim security clearances since 2016, and any employee who had resigned or been fired over issues with their background check. 

Multiple White House aides have resigned since Kelly changed the White House rules for temporary security clearances, preventing some — including Trump's son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerNY investigating Kushner Cos. properties after report on filing false paperwork Overnight Finance: Lawmakers race to finalize omnibus | What we know about funding bill | White House on board | Fed raises rates for first time under Powell White House race to replace Hope Hicks has two lead contenders MORE — from gaining access to classified information.