Tillerson, Kelly internally complain about Kushner encroachments: report

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

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHeather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job Trump administration’s top European diplomat to resign in February Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation MORE and White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE have voiced frustration about Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerDems open new front against Trump Dems launch investigation into Trump administration's dealings with Saudi Arabia The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? 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) HaleyNikki Haley slams media for Smollett coverage: 'He played them all for fools' Four names emerge for UN position: report Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job 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.”