Ex-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal

Ex-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal
© Greg Nash

Former White House ethics chief Walter ShaubWalter Michael ShaubEx-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal Cohen's charges make getting Trump's taxes even more important Ethics watchdogs sound alarm over Trump tweet on Scotland golf course MORE on Thursday said there was “quite the parallel” between President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE’s children getting high-level security clearances and the dozens of parents caught in a national college admissions cheating scandal.

Shaub said Trump’s alleged role in getting his daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kushner treat reporters during Jewish holiday of Purim Pavlich: A better higher education Stop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave MORE and son-in-law Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerIvanka Trump, Jared Kushner treat reporters during Jewish holiday of Purim NYC official accuses Kushner Cos. of illegally operating buildings without certification Trump to host Netanyahu at White House MORE security clearances was on par with the allegations that wealthy parents, as well as school coaches and administrators, engaged in a bribery scam to ensure college admissions for their children.

“Quite the parallel between members of the decadent golf set cheating to get their kids into college and a decadent golf setter cheating to get his daughter and son-in-law clearances after committing nepotism to get them civil service jobs – except for the national security risks,” Shaub tweeted.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts on Tuesday released charging documents that implicated at least 40 people in a nationwide admissions scam.

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The plot involved getting prospective students admitted to colleges and universities as athletic recruits — even in sports they didn’t play — by bribing coaches and paying people to cheat on college entrance exams.

Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin are among the 22 parents charged as part of the scheme, according to authorities.

Ivanka Trump and Kushner reportedly faced pushback from top officials in the administration over their security clearances. They both serve as senior White House advisers.

The New York Times reported last month that Trump ordered his then-White House chief of staff, John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, to override the security concerns from other officials and grant Kushner a clearance last year. CNN also reported earlier this month that Trump pressured Kelly to grant Ivanka Trump a security clearance despite concerns from then-White House counsel Donald McGahnDonald (Don) F. McGahnEx-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal Dem compares college cheating scandal to Ivanka, Jared's security clearance Senate Dems request probe of White House security clearances MORE.

Ivanka Trump previously claimed that her father had “zero” involvement in securing top security clearances for her or her husband.

Top Senate Democrats last week called for an investigation into whether the White House is complying with security clearance policies.

Shaub, a vocal critic of the president who now works at the federal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was not the first to make the comparison.

Rep. Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreEx-White House ethics chief compares Ivanka, Kushner security clearances to college admissions scandal Dem compares college cheating scandal to Ivanka, Jared's security clearance Dem lawmakers unveil Journalist Protection Act amid Trump attacks on media MORE (D-Wis.) tweeted on Wednesday that the college entry scandal “should shock us all, but it doesn’t.”

"Just look at the President and his Administration. The working class are held to one standard, while the likes of Ivanka and Jared can be granted security clearance over the objections of intelligence professionals."