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Whistleblower: Trump White House reversed security clearance denials

Whistleblower: Trump White House reversed security clearance denials

Ocasio-Cortez's comments came as lawmakers were debating the need for additional subpoenas after Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversees the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, said she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year due to their backgrounds.

We had already seen outrage over President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner getting a security clearance despite concerns, but Newbold said that there were actually at least 25 people who were similarly granted such clearances despite concerns of "foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct". It's about the security clearances and who can get them at the White House, who has been able to get them.

Newbold claims senior Trump administration officials overturned her recommendations to deny security clearances to some officials previous year.

Newbold added: "I feel that right now this is my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office".

'Folks are suggesting that we are conducting foreign relations with folks with security clearances via Whats App. He sent a letter to the White House to mark his intentions.

'He will come in voluntarily, but he will not answer any of our questions about specific officials, about specific security violations, or about specific security clearance adjudications.

According to Democrat Cummings's memo, however, Newbold considered the decisions to be part of a "systematic" problem within her office where the decisions of security clearance reviewers were "continuously" overridden. Staff also recommended denying a clearance to a second "very senior" official based on "foreign influence and outside activities", but Newbold said Kline told her "do not touch" the case.

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Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House committee, issued a statement calling the letter a "partisan attack" that was "an excuse to go fishing through the personal files of dedicated public servants".

Newbold, an 18-year veteran of the security clearance process who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, said she warned her superiors that clearances "were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security" - and was retaliated against for doing so.

Kushner laughed and said: "Look, I can say that in the White House I work with some phenomenal people and I think over the last two years the president's done a phenomenal job of identifying what are our national security priorities".

Barr has said he will issue a redacted copy of Mueller's full report by mid-April, but Democrats want it without redactions and have demanded it be given to them this week.

Mr Kline also approved a clearance for that unnamed official.

The White House is fighting against any questioning regarding security clearances.

Ms Newbold refused, and the third official ultimately left the White House, the Democrats' memo said.

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