Amidst alarming questions as to why President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s security clearance has been delayed, Kuchner’s wife and Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump briefed the President of a major ally on sanctions against North Korea even though she does have not a permanent security clearance.
Former Deputy Secretary of Labor for the Obama administration Chris Lu noted on MSNBC that Ivanka Trump “either got access to classified information in order to do the briefing, which would be improper, or she gave President Moon a briefing he probably could have read about in a newspaper. And that’s embarrassing.”
.@ChrisLu44 just now on MSNBC, Ivanka Trump, "either got access to classified information in order to do the briefing, which would be improper, or she gave President Moon a briefing he probably could have read about in a newspaper. And that's embarrassing." pic.twitter.com/rhJnKeMAWv
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 25, 2018
On Friday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin held a press briefing on the North Korea sanctions during which he said Ivanka Trump had been briefed on what he called “largest set of sanctions ever imposed in connection with North Korea.
“Well, first let me say, Ivanka Trump has been briefed on this. She’s been part of the team,” Mnuchin said. “She had dinner with President Moon. They had a private discussion in advance about this occurring. And this has been an interagency process.”
Mnuchin detailed the sanctions, “This action targets the deceptive shipping practices that have enabled the Kim regime to fund its dangerous weapons programs. Our actions target shipping and trade companies, vessels, and individuals across the world who we know are working with North Korea’s behalf. Specifically, we are sanctioning 27 entities, 28 vessels, and 1 individual, all involved in sanctions evasions schemes.”
When asked if Ivanka Trump had the proper security clearance to have been able to know what these sanctions were and brief the South Korean President, Mnuchin said, “Yeah, she has the appropriate access to brief President Moon.”
President Trump’s daughter did not interact with the North Korean delegation, a senior U.S. administration official said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA.
A top Justice Department official alerted the White House two weeks ago that “significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner,” according to a report by the Washington Post.
Kushner has been forced to submit four addenda to his clearance forms, unable to get a full security clearance in part because of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Saturday, Naveed Jamali explained on MSNBC’s AM Joy that Jared Kushner could be using his access to classified information to sell US secrets to foreign countries. Jamali said the Russians and Chinese look for people who are willing to use their access for personal enrichment, which makes sense since Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, is $1.5 billion in debt and yet both he and Ivanka are supposedly working for Trump without a salary and fighting to retain access to classified information he does not need.
The president’s children should not be working in the White House to begin with because of conflicts of interest and nepotism, so as this story unravels it’s important to try to hang on to the norms and the reasons for them. Contrary to Trump’s presentation, they are not doing us some favor. There is no reason that serves the people of this country for them to be there.
It is a crime to mishandle classified information and to give it to people without the proper security clearance. Of course Republicans know this because it was the charge they tried to stick on Hillary Clinton, saying she gave her attorneys access to her emails on her server and those who maintained her server (but did not read her emails) without the proper clearances. Comey said Clinton did not have bad intent, and intention matters.
So on one hand we have Trump giving his children access to classified information when they cannot get the proper security clearances and not for just any old reasons, but one of them can’t get the clearance in part for reasons relating to the Russia probe. Mueller’s investigation led to a former senior official in Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Rick Gates, pleading guilty on Friday to conspiracy against the United States.
If Trump’s children are innocent, it would behoove them all to stop getting access to classified information. If, on the other hand, Ivanka Trump did not have access to classified information, why did the administration say “she has the appropriate access to brief President Moon.”
Ms. Jones is the Editor-in-Chief of PoliticusUSA and a Huffington Post contributor. She has covered President Barack Obama, 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton, VP Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including regular appearances on The Ann Walker Show With Scott Nevins for UBN Radio and KPTR 1450’s California Woman 411, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, The Richard Dawkins Foundation and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Latin and Psychology, including studying the psychology of organized crime, with graduate studies in the psychology of linguistics and Latin poetry.