Panetta: ‘Somebody's dropping the ball’ on WH security clearances

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday that the revelation that several White House officials have not obtained full security clearances more than a year into the Trump administration makes it clear that "somebody's dropping the ball" on the process.

"Somebody's dropping the ball, that's for sure, because these investigations should have been completed," Panetta said on "CBS This Morning."

"I can't believe that more pressure has not been brought on those involved to complete this and try to get everyone cleared so that they can get on with the business of the country."


Panetta's comments came after it was revealed that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who resigned last week amid allegations of domestic abuse, had served in his role for more than a year on only an interim security clearance.

Media reports soon emerged that dozens of officials in the White House and Trump administration had not yet obtained full security clearances, including 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, 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.

Panetta said Tuesday that "everybody bears some responsibility" for the fact that many officials have not yet been fully cleared. 

The White House has defended the long wait times for security clearances, saying it has followed the same process as past administrations and that it has left it to the FBI to make decisions on clearances.

"It’s handled by our law enforcement and intelligence community, and we support that process," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Monday. "It’s the same process that has been used for decades for other and previous administrations."