Even though Jared Kushner‘s top secret security clearance request was rejected by career White House security specialists due to concerns over his foreign entanglements, an official hand-picked by Donald Trump approved the application.
According to NBC News, “The official, Carl Kline, is a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017.”
Kushner’s case wasn’t the only one in which Kline ignored security concerns. The report notes that he overruled the concerns of career officials dozens of times.
More from NBC News:
The sources said they did not know whether Kline was in communication with senior political White House officials. They say he overruled career bureaucrats at least 30 times, granting top secret clearances to officials in the Executive Office of the President or the White House after adjudicators working for him recommended against doing so.
The reasons for denying a clearance can include debts, a criminal past or questions about foreign entanglements. Anything in a person’s background that could make them vulnerable to blackmail can be a factor.
Trump knowingly put national security at risk
On her program on Thursday night, Rachel Maddow appeared to be in disbelief that the hand-picked Trump official ignored national security risks dozens of times to approve clearances for White House personnel.
“Thirty times, at least, this one supervisor who Trump put in there … handed out a clearance to an incoming Trump White House person who was otherwise flagged as too risky to get a clearance approved,” Maddow said. “Thirty of them. At minimum. Christ.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 25, 2019
Who is this supervisor who keeps overruling all the rejections and handing out security clearances anyway? According to NBC News tonight, he is Carl Kline. He was reportedly installed as director of the personnel security office in the executive office of the president in May 2017. So that’s like four months-ish into the new administration. They put someone new in the office of personnel security in the White House. … Four months-ish into this administration, they put this new guy into the office of personnel security in the White House. Remember, a lot of the reporting about the initial security clearance problems was that people were just working at the White House without being able to get a clearance. Four months in, they put somebody in who apparently tried to solve that problem for them. Once they had that guy in there, he started overruling it when career security clearance folks said no, no, this should be a rejection. This reporting is that 30 times, at least, this one supervisor who Trump put in there, 30 times at least this guy handed out a clearance to an incoming Trump White House person who was otherwise flagged as too risky to get a clearance approved. 30 of them. At minimum. Christ.
To sum this up: Trump installed someone who knowingly approved the security clearances of Jared Kushner and dozens of other individuals, despite the fact that career officials were raising alarm bells.
This is a president who has put American national security at risk repeatedly, but few instances have been so egregious.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump – a man under the complete control of Russia – doesn’t care about staffing his White House with officials that could be compromised by foreign entities.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.