Kaine questions whether Bolton can obtain full security clearance

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineCommunion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed MORE (D-Va.) raised questions on Sunday about whether President TrumpDonald TrumpIran claims U.S. to lift all oil sanctions but State Department says 'nothing is agreed' Ivanka Trump, Kushner distance themselves from Trump claims on election: CNN Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs chairman clashes with GOP on critical race theory | House bill introduced to overhaul military justice system as sexual assault reform builds momentum MORE's recently selected national security adviser, John Bolton, can obtain a full security clearance.

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Kaine expressed concern at what he suggested were Bolton's "contacts with foreign governments," notably in Russia, pointing to a 2013 video for a Russian gun rights group in which Bolton appeared.

"These kinds of contacts raise real questions in my mind about whether he could get a full security clearance or not," Kaine said.


"Even though the Senate doesn't get a vote to confirm the national security adviser, I have many, many questions, not only about John Bolton's philosophy, but about these contacts with Russia," he added.

Bolton appeared in a video for the Russian gun rights group The Right to Bear Arms in 2013. That group was established by Russian politician Alexander Torshin, a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

That video was reported on Thursday by NPR

Kaine's comments come amid questions about the clearances of other Trump administration officials.

It was revealed last month that dozens of White House officials lacked full security clearances, and had been working for months on interim authorizations, prompting a crackdown by White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

Still, Bolton has worked in the federal government before, having served both the State Department and Justice Department in multiple Republican presidential administrations.