Breaking News Emails
Get interrupted news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered everyday morning.
By Allan Smith
Two top Democratic congressmen said on Sunday that President Donald Trump's legitimate claim that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was granted security clearance despite concerns raised by intelligence officers constituted an "abuse of power" and was "inappropriate".
"The president has the right to give someone a security clearance," said Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-President Mark Warner, D-Va., On CNN's "Union State". "But what I think is inappropriate is that these security clarifications should be given after the review by the national security officials."
"The fact that he actually chooses to give a family member who complies with the recommendations associated with the community worries me a lot," Warner continued.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Said of ABC's "This Week" that he believes the president's movement "was abuse of power.
"Look, the president has the right to do a lot of things, but he can abuse his power by doing so," Nadler said. "Members of Congress have the right to vote for or against the bill, but if they do so because someone paid them $ 50,000 to do so, it is an abuse of power. It is also a crime. Then you can do things there is within your power, which is abuse of power, and that is crime. "
The Republicans pushed back, but said that Trump is empowered to overpower the civil servants' concerns, and the issue is not troubling them.
"I think the president looked at the concerns, and the president says there was no concern for him so he could get him around," said ministry leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., To ABC's "This Week." "If we went through any person who had this authority before, I – I guarantee you others have had concerns with them. The president gets to make that decision. They give you the pluses and minuses no matter what is worrying is, the president has the choice and he does a good job. "
The New York Times, quoting four people briefed on the case, reported On Thursday, Trump, White House Manager John Kelly, commissioned Kushner, Senior Advisor, a top secret security approval in May 2018. At the time, Kelly and Da-White House Counsel Donald McGahn wrote notes on the incident, the newspaper reported. In his note, McGahn raised concerns and noted that he recommended giving Kushner a clearing.
NBC News reported last month that Kushner's top secret clearance application, according to two sources familiar with the case, was rejected by two White Huss security experts following an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him but their supervisor overruled recommendation and clearance clearance.
Trump told The New York Times In January he had no role in his son-in-law to get clearance. Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said that when clearing was provided last year, Kushner's application went through the standard process, the newspaper reported. Lowell did not comment on NBC News for its January report.
Warner said on Sunday that he wanted to see "further explanation" from the White House about why Trump overruled the recommendations.
"Again, you have Mr. Kushner, who has at least been affected by a number of investigations," he said. "He obviously has a very strong relationship with the leadership in Saudi Arabia. And the whole idea that the president arbitrarily chooses which family members are going to get security clauses and overrides the intelligence community – but we shouldn't be surprised at that. consistently willing to override the intelligence community's advice. "
Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, said on "Fox News Sunday" he did not "have any concerns" about Kushner's clearing or believe that the president's son-in-law was a security risk.
"I am constantly treating Jared to the Middle East peace process on a number of other issues," Bolton said. "I trust him, I have no idea what the story is about the security survey – it's not something that falls within my remit. But if you are asked, I trust Jared Kushner? The answer is yes."