National Intelligence Director Dan Coats: Limit White House Officials with Temporary Security Clearance

FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2017 file photo, then-Director of National Intelligence-designate Dan Coats testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump's choice for national intelligence director. Senators voted 85-12 Wednesday to approve the nomination …
AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Dan Coats, the director of National Intelligence, testified on Tuesday that White House officials with temporary security clearance should have limited access to sensitive information.

He said that although temporary security clearances were sometimes necessary, the individuals working on that basis should have limited access to classified information.

“I have publicly stated if that’s the case, the access has to be limited in terms of the kinds of information they can be in a position to receive or not receive,” he said. “So I think that’s something that we have to do as part of our security clearance review.”

Coats made his remarks after Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich questioned him about reports that dozens of White House staffers, including White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, were operating under a temporary security clearance.

Coats described the security clearance as “broken,” citing a backlog of more than 700,000.