Former Obama advisers defend White House vetting system after Trump criticism

Former Obama advisers defend White House vetting system after Trump criticism
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Two former advisers to President Obama rejected President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE's claim on Friday that his White House inherited a "broken" system for issuing security clearances, with one saying it is the Trump administration that is broken.

The Trump administration has faced scrutiny in recent weeks after it was revealed that dozens of officials have been allowed to work for prolonged periods of time on interim security clearances. 


"NO! I helped oversee the Obama admin processing of thousands of nominees and officials during the busiest two years of appointments (2009-01), including weighing in on clearance issues," Norm Eisen, Obama's former ethics czar, tweeted in response to Trump's comments. "IT WORKED FINE--ITS THIS ADMINISTRATION THAT IS BROKEN."

"Norm, you put us through the paces and it could definitely be a hassle," tweeted Austan Goolsbee, the former chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "But seeing these people disregard their disclosure obligations to the American people, access intelligence when they can’t pass fbi vetting, or abuse their offices for personal gain is infuriating/obscene."

The focus on security clearances in the Trump administration emerged earlier this month after former White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned in the face of past domestic abuse allegations. Porter never obtained a full security clearance because of the allegations, but was allowed to remain in his post for more than a year. 

That case shed light on other officials who lacked clearances despite having worked in the administration for months, and prompted White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE to crack down on those working without full clearances.

Among those who have not yet obtained full clearance is Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerKushner pens NY Times piece defending Trump order combating anti-Semitism Trump signs executive order combating anti-Semitism on campuses The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - Democrats to release articles of impeachment today MORE, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser. Trump defended Kushner at a news conference on Friday, saying that he's been "treated very unfairly" and that Kelly would have final word on his clearance.