Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances

Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances
© Greg Nash

Six Democratic senators on Wednesday wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for a full list of White House staffers working without a full security clearance.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinOvernight Health Care: Over 7,000 fail to meet Medicaid work rules in Arkansas | Judge temporarily halts deportations of reunited families | GOP chair in talks over restarting ObamaCare payments Dem senator calls for 'permanent' price cuts at Pfizer Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems MORE (Wis.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichCNN congressional correspondent talks about her early love of trolls and family Overnight Energy: DNC to reject fossil fuel donations | Regulators see no security risk in coal plant closures | Senate committee rejects Trump EPA, Interior budgets Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures MORE (N.M.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoAdministration to brief Senate panel on family reunifications Lawmakers press Trump admin for list of migrant kids separated from families Protesters arrested during #WomenDisobey demonstration at Senate office building MORE (Hawaii), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallEPA deputy says he's not interested in Pruitt’s job Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Overnight Energy: Spending bill targets Pruitt | Ryan not paying 'close attention' to Pruitt controversies | Yellowstone park chief learned of dismissal through press release MORE (N.M.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Booker seizes on Kavanaugh confirmation fight Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances.

The letter asks for a list of those with interim clearances, as well as the status of FBI background investigations into those individuals. It specifically seeks information on the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerOn The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger NY to investigate allegations of tenant harassment by Kushner Cos. Tenants in Kushner Cos. building say they were pushed out: report MORE.

“We are deeply concerned that high level officials operating under an interim security clearance, like Jared Kushner, read the President’s daily intelligence briefing,” the senators wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have frequently raised concerns that Kushner is operating without a full security clearance.

The letter from Democratic senators echoes concerns voiced in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI from House Democrats.

Both requests come as the White House is embroiled in controversy over its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was operating on a temporary security clearance.

Wray testified to a Senate panel on Tuesday that the FBI completed its background check investigation of Porter in July, and then offered additional information in November and January.

Yet Porter did not resign until a photo surfaced last week of his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said she got from her husband during a vacation in Italy.

The White House has said it did not know of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until published reports last week, though Wray's testimony suggests people at the White House should have been aware much earlier.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday announced it has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of accusations against Porter, as well as his security clearance.

Another White House official reportedly resigned Wednesday after learning he did not qualify for a full security clearance because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.