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Jared Kushner Refuses to Surrender His Security Clearances After John Kelly's Overhaul

Jared Kushner Refuses to Surrender His Security Clearances After John Kelly's Overhaul
(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Tensions between Jared Kushner and John Kelly have reached a boiling point in the West Wing after the Chief of Staff updated the rules for interim security clearances that will no longer grant Donald Trump's son-in-law access to classified information, according to the New York Times.

Kushner is refusing to give up his access to secret government intel after Kelly announced he would be limiting those with pending background information since June 1.

The senior advisor is on the list due to mistakes he made on his application, and The Times reported that his background information was not submitted fully.

Mr. Kushner initially failed to disclose scores of those contacts on the standard form required for all prospective government officials, and has since amended his submission, substantially delaying his background check.

According to anonymous officials inside the White House, Kushner believes he's being personally targeted by the Chief of Staff with the new directive.

Kelly issued a five-page memo Friday announcing the White House's block on high-level information access.

He explained that the new rules would "limit access to certain highly classified information for those individuals working with interim clearance status absent explicit chief of staff's office approval, which would be granted only in the most compelling circumstances."

But, Kelly assured Kushner that his work won't be affected by the policy change and that he already has sufficient level of access to continue doing his job.

As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico.

The report described his clearances that are being threatened under the new mandate.

Mr. Kushner's clearance has afforded him access to closely guarded information, including the presidential daily brief, the intelligence summary Mr. Trump receives every day, but it has not been made permanent, and his background investigation is still pending after 13 months serving in Mr. Trump's inner circle.

The changes are set to take place on Kelly's self-imposed deadline of Friday followed by monthly reviews of high-level clearances.

Twitter offered no sympathies.

His tantrum could be for other reasons.

Kelly's overhaul was a result of former aide Rob Porter, who resigned under pressure due to allegations of domestic abuse from two of his ex-wives. He was able to work with a stopgap clearance for over a year despite the damaging information the FBI had on him.

"We should ― and, in the future, must ― do better," said Kelly.

Officials are unclear whether the new policy will be enforced on Kushner since Trump ultimately dictates who he wants to keep in his inner circle.

H/T - HuffingtonPost, NYtimes, Twitter