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At least 30 White House officials, Trump appointees lack full clearances: report

At least 30 White House officials, Trump appointees lack full clearances: report
© Greg Nash

Dozens of White House and Trump administration officials still lack full security clearances, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerFive things to watch for in deteriorating US-Saudi relations NYT: Kushner paid almost nothing in taxes thanks to business tax break Trump to call Saudi king about missing journalist MORE.

CNN reported Friday that at least 30 officials and political appointees have been working in the administration with interim clearances. 

The White House told CNN that the fact that so many officials lack a full security clearance is a normal consequence of the lengthy review processes required for granting such clearances, which are handled by the FBI and White House security office.

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But intelligence officials told CNN that the backlog was unusual after more than a year since Trump took office.

According to CNN, Kushner is among several officials who have had clearances delayed because of mistakes in their paperwork.

The issue comes into focus after Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary, resigned this week following allegations that he physically and emotionally abused his two ex-wives. Porter never obtained a full security clearance, despite being in a position that required him to handle classified information.

Media reports have indicated that senior White House officials, including chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, were aware of the allegations against Porter for months before they were revealed publicly earlier this week.

Mark Zaid, a D.C.-based lawyer who handles national security-related cases, told CNN that most appointees and top officials in past presidential administrations already had security clearances from past government jobs.

But many people in key positions in the Trump administration come from more complex private sector backgrounds that may be slowing down the clearance process, Zaid said.