Ex-White House official says he has no regrets over handling of security clearances: report

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The White House official responsible for security clearances in the first two years of President Trump’s tenure acknowledged to a House panel Wednesday that he had issued clearances despite concerns from subordinates, according to Politico.

Former White House personnel security director Carl Kline told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that he had overruled lower-level employees’ recommendations on issuing clearances but said he had no regrets and denied being pressured by others in the White House, Politico reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of his testimony.

{mosads}“I thought about every decision that I’ve made, every call that I’ve made, and I would make every call exactly the same way that I’ve made when I made it,” Kline said, according to Politico.

Neither the White House nor the Committee immediately responded to a request for comment from The Hill.

Kline reportedly told the committee that upon reviewing the clearances his subordinates had raised concerns about, he decided they did not pose security risks. Still, Democrats on the panel said he failed to properly document his rationale for granting clearances, Politico reported.

“It was clear from the interview that the current White House is willing to accept significantly more national security risks than previous White Houses — in previous Republican and Democratic administrations,” a senior Democratic aide told the outlet.

Democrats have been locked in a back-and-forth with the White House amid the panel’s probe into the administration’s handling of security clearances, with the White House on Wednesday rejecting a request for documents from the panel.

House Democrats have questioned how the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both serve as senior advisers in the White House, secured their security clearances.

News reports in February and March claimed that President Trump had personally pressured then-White House chief of staff John Kelly and then-White House counsel Don McGahn to ensure his daughter and son-in-law were granted clearances.

Tags Donald Trump Ivanka Trump Jared Kushner John Kelly

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