Kaine questions whether Bolton can obtain full security clearance

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Watchdog blasts government's handling of Afghanistan conflict | Biden asks Pentagon to look into mandatory vaccines | Congress passes new Capitol security bill GOP, Democrats battle over masks in House, Senate Senators introduce bipartisan bill to expand foreign aid partnerships MORE (D-Va.) raised questions on Sunday about whether President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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.