President Donald Trump sided with his chief of staff General John Kelly in the dispute over whether his son-in-law Jared Kushner would have access to classified information.
“I will let General Kelly make that decision and he’s going to do what’s right for the country,” Trump said. “And I have no doubt he will make the right decision.”
Kelly issued a memo last week announcing that he would revoke security clearances for White House officials whose full security clearance applications have been pending since June 1, 2017.
Kushner is currently working at the White House with a temporary security clearance and felt personally targeted by Kelly’s decision. If Kelly revokes Kushner’s clearance, he will not have access to some of the classified information contained in the presidential briefing.
In a statement last week, Kelly said that Kushner would have access to information important to his diplomatic information, but declined to say whether he would get full clearance.
The security clearance issue drew more scrutiny after White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s ex-wives accused him of abuse and he was forced to resign.
Trump said that Kelly “respects Jared a lot” and praised his son-in-law for helping the country.
“He works for nothing. Nobody ever reports that,” Trump said about Kushner. “He gets zero. He doesn’t get a salary.”