The calls for the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to lose his security clearance are rising. Congressional investigators are continuing their probe into whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation, which was led by Kushner, coordinated efforts with Russian bots spreading fake news about Hillary Clinton. Kushner’s controversial meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised damaging information on Clinton is creating a growing storm of criticism.
Although most of the focus on Kushner as been from Democrats, even some Republicans are becoming frustrated with the drama surrounding Trump’s family and are calling for his exit.
“I’m going out on a limb here, but I would say that I think it would be in the president’s best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House — not only Donald [Jr.], but Ivanka [Trump] and Jared Kushner,” Rep. Bill Flores, a Texas Republican said on Thursday.
In the short time that Trump has been in office, Kushner has had to amend his security clearance form twice to account for previously undisclosed meetings with Russian individuals. “It’s very hard for me to imagine anyone else being allowed to continue their clearance if they participated in a meeting like the one that just became public,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said.
The previous meetings may not be the worst alleged offense from Kushner. Schiff is probing whether the Trump campaign’s analytics operation attempted to help Russian social media trolls advance negative stories about Clinton. Kushner headed this arm of the campaign. Investigators are looking into whether Russia was able to identify its targets because of help from the Trump campaign’s cyber operation, which had detailed information about voters.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday called for Kushner’s security privileges to be revoked “immediately.” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), the former head of the Democratic National Committee, put forth two appropriations amendments designed to revoke his clearance; both failed along party lines. And even Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) both have raised questions concerning Kushner’s security clearance. They have not received an answer to a letter they wrote to Marcia Lee Kelly, director of the office that deals with White House security clearances, and FBI director Andrew McCabe concerning this issue.
Some Democratic leadership has flat out asked Kushner to resign. “You don’t think the Republicans would be calling for the resignation of an Obama official who allowed the president and vice president to openly lie about a major national security issue?” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told the press. “He watched his father-in-law on TV say no one in [the Trump] campaign talked to the Russian government.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Democrats of “trying to play political games,” but declined to say whether he still has a clearance. “We don’t discuss security clearances,” she said.
Do you think Kushner’s security clearance should be revoked, or is this just a part of the so-called “witch hunt?”
Credit: The Hill