Two White House security specialists, including one supervisor, rejected President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE’s advisor and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerHouse panel tees up Trump executive privilege fight in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US prepares vaccine booster plan House panel probing Jan. 6 attack seeks Trump records MORE’s application for top-secret clearance but were overruled by the head of the president's personnel security office, according to an NBC News report on Thursday.
Carl Kline, director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office, reportedly overruled security experts in the office regarding Kushner. He also did so with Trump officials on at least 30 occasions, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC.
NBC reported that a top supervisor overruling security clearance recommendations by the career experts in the office only occurred once in the three years before Kline, a former Pentagon official, arrived at the White House in May 2017.
Kushner's security clearance was downgraded from top-secret to secret last February. He was then granted a permanent security clearance in May after working more than a year for the Trump administration. He previously held a temporary clearance status.
Kushner’s FBI background check was reportedly flagged over concerns about his family’s businesses, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he held during the 2016 presidential campaign, sources told NBC News. They spoke to the outlet on the condition of anonymity.
An adjudicator deemed Kushner’s application “unfavorable” and handed it to his or her immediate supervisor in the office, NBC News reported. The supervisor agreed with the ruling and turned it over to Kline.
When Kline overruled the White House security analysts, Kushner’s application was sent to the CIA for an even higher designation that would allow him to have access to "sensitive compartmented information," or SCI.
The government’s most sensitive and secret materials, including foreign communications and intelligence reports, are included in SCI.
The CIA also reportedly raised questions about why Kushner was given the top-secret clearance, two sources told NBC News.
Kushner was not granted access to SCI material, according to a July report from The Washington Post. Trump does have the authority to override such rules, although it's not clear whether he has.
Kline did not return NBC News's request for comment.
The Hill has reached out to the White House.
The Trump White House’s security clearance processes have been a source of controversy. House Democrats announced on Wednesday that they are launching an expansive investigation into the White House security clearance process, accusing the Trump administration of disregarding established protocols in a way that has resulted in “grave breaches of national security.”