Jared Kushner gets permanent security clearance

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Jared Kushner, who is leading a White House effort to jump-start peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, has been granted security clearance after operating for months without it, United States media outlets reported on Wednesday.

A source told The Times that Kushner's clearance was approved by career staffers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation after his background check by the agency was complete.

Career officials approved the clearance following the background check, the newspaper reported.

"There was nobody in the political process that had anything to do with it", Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell told Wolf Blitzer in response to a question about the process of having the clearance restored.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had ordered changes to the clearance system after a top aide - Rob Porter - worked for months without full clearance because of allegations he abused both his former wives.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks onstage during the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, on May 14.

Kushner is leading a Trump effort to resurrect the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and has been a Trump conduit to Mexico, among other activities.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yanked several senior officials temporary top-level clearances in February
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly yanked several senior officials temporary top-level clearances in February

Kushner's months-long inability to get a permanent security clearance had long vexed the administration, so much so that some officials felt unwilling to push the issue with others in similar straits.

Kushner subsequently amended the form once again after it was revealed that he met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had met with him based on the promise that she had damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Even without a permanent clearance, the president's son-in-law had been allowed to see materials, including the president's daily brief, that are among the most sensitive in government.

The second interview occurred in April and concerned potential influence by foreign governments, including Russian Federation, and the firing of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, among other topics, Lowell said on CNN.

Kushner's initial SF-86 form did not mention any foreign contacts, though he quickly supplemented it to indicate that he would provide that information. "On each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did everything he could to expedite the conclusion of all the investigations".

Kushner had to file three updates to his national security questionnaire, a form that guides the Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and asks for information about a person's employment history, finances, family, travel and other matters. He submitted another addendum in mid-May 2017 detailing more than 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries.

Some experts said that the evolving disclosures might have been disqualifying for another person and that it could explain the delay in granting Kushner a clearance.

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