OPIOID SERIES:

Ignatius on MSNBC: Astonishing that Kushner still has security clearances

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said Monday that “it's astonishing that Jared Kushner still has his security clearances” after he omitted from forms a meeting he and Donald Trump Jr. attended with a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJustice to provide access to Comey memos to GOP lawmakers Justice Dept inspector asks US attorney to consider criminal charges for McCabe: reports 'Homeland' to drop Trump allegories in next season MORE.

“It’s astonishing that Jared Kushner still has his security clearances when he has disclosed that contrary to initial disclosure forms he had meetings like this,” Ignatius said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

Kushner has amended his application for a top-level security clearance three times and has added more than 100 names to a list of foreign contacts since initially filing his forms. Some of the changes made were to reflect the June 2016 meeting set up by Trump Jr., President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds Pruitt spent K flying aides to Australia to prep for later-canceled visit: report Rosenstein told Trump he is not a target of Mueller probe: report MORE's eldest son. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Ignatius, a regular guest on the MSNBC morning program, compared the Trump administration to a retreating army as new information continues to drip out on Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting and the number of participants in it from the Russian side.  

“The president has the authority to decide who gets these clearances and who doesn’t, but Joe, I’m struck as I watch this unfold, it’s a little bit like an army retreating. There’s a strong position that’s set, and then it’s overrun, and then you retreat to another position, and then you are asserting something different and then that one gets overrun and you pull back a little further, and I think that’s part of the Trump team’s problem is that they just don’t have firm lines that they can hold. As each new revelation comes, there’s a scramble,” he continued.

Ignatius said that passing healthcare reform has taken on extra importance to Republicans to show its base it's governing despite the “cloud of a phony scandal."

“They’d love to have something hard to give back to their base,” he said. “I think that’s why healthcare is so important.

“They have to deliver something that shows we’re governing. It’s not just this cloud of phony scandal, we’re governing, and they don’t have that yet.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnell32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd FreedomWorks backs Jim Jordan for House Speaker MORE (R-Ky.) announced over the weekend that Senate consideration of legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare will be delayed while Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainHeitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Senate committee sets Monday vote even as Pompeo appears to lack support Trump checkmates Democrats in sending Pompeo to North Korea MORE (R-Ariz.) recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye.

Without McCain, Senate Republicans likely would not have had the 51 votes necessary to pass the legislation.