Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways to manipulate President Donald Trump’s senior adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner by taking advantage of his business entanglements, financial difficulties, and lack of foreign policy expertise, Washington Post reports.
The news eclipsed days earlier Jared Kushner headline: he no longer has access to top secret information or meetings due to a security downgrade after failing to get a permanent security clearance for more than a year.
WaPo cited current and former U.S. government officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter. Among countries where officials were having discussions about ways to influence Kusher: China, Israel, Mexico and United Arab Emirates, the newspaper reported.
The news might help explain why, over the past 13 months, Kushner had failed to get a permanent security clearance. All White House aides working with interim top security clearances, including Kushner, got a memo on Friday that their clearances were being be downgraded to “Secret.”
The downgrade means Kushner no longer has access to Trump’s Daily Brief.
A spokesman for Jared Kushner’s attorney has responded to WaPo’s report in a statement: “We will not respond substantively to unnamed sources peddling second hand hearsay with rank speculation who continue to leak inaccurate information.”
Kushner’s downgrade was not a total surprise; White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had signaled these downgrades would come in a memo after Kelly took incoming over his handling of revelations about since exited White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter who regularly passed all docs that crossed Trump’s desk, also had not received permanent security clearance, believed to be owing at least in part to two ex wives having accused him of abuse.
Trump said recently he would leave it to Kelly to make the decision on Kushner’s security clearance, sayng “he’s going to do what’s right for the country and I have no doubt he will make the right decisions.”