Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances

Dem senators want list of White House officials with interim security clearances
© Greg Nash

Six Democratic senators on Wednesday wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking for a full list of White House staffers working without a full security clearance.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinDems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump Poll: Democrats inch forward in Wisconsin MORE (Wis.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Election Countdown: What to watch in final primaries | Dems launch M ad buy for Senate races | Senate seats most likely to flip | Trump slump worries GOP | Koch network's new super PAC Rand Paul endorses Gary Johnson's Senate bid MORE (N.M.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDem senator: Kavanaugh's credibility is 'already very questionable' Sunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Kavanaugh fight roils an already ugly political climate MORE (Hawaii), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallSenate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands Senate Dems want DOJ review of Giuliani's work for foreign entities MORE (N.M.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerEx-White House official revises statement to Mueller after Flynn guilty plea: report CNN editor: Booker's 'groping incident' 'different' from Kavanaugh allegation Poll: Most Massachusetts voters don't think Warren should run for president in 2020 MORE (N.J.) noted recent reports that indicated dozens of White House officials and appointees have been working in the Trump administration with interim security clearances.

The letter asks for a list of those with interim clearances, as well as the status of FBI background investigations into those individuals. It specifically seeks information on the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMueller investigating Russian payments made by Trump Tower meeting organizers: report The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers MORE.

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“We are deeply concerned that high level officials operating under an interim security clearance, like Jared Kushner, read the President’s daily intelligence briefing,” the senators wrote.

Democratic lawmakers have frequently raised concerns that Kushner is operating without a full security clearance.

The letter from Democratic senators echoes concerns voiced in a letter sent Tuesday to the FBI from House Democrats.

Both requests come as the White House is embroiled in controversy over its handling of domestic abuse allegations against former staff secretary Rob Porter, who was operating on a temporary security clearance.

Wray testified to a Senate panel on Tuesday that the FBI completed its background check investigation of Porter in July, and then offered additional information in November and January.

Yet Porter did not resign until a photo surfaced last week of his first ex-wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye she said she got from her husband during a vacation in Italy.

The White House has said it did not know of the seriousness of the allegations against Porter until published reports last week, though Wray's testimony suggests people at the White House should have been aware much earlier.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday announced it has launched an investigation into the White House’s handling of accusations against Porter, as well as his security clearance.

Another White House official reportedly resigned Wednesday after learning he did not qualify for a full security clearance because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.