More than 30 White House staffers have been downgraded from their top-secret intelligence clearances, according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday.
Three unnamed sources told Bloomberg that the officials were downgraded to a lower “secret” clearance level until their background checks are concluded. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner’s clearance was similarly downgraded, Politico reported Tuesday.
“Mr. Kushner has done more than what is expected of him in this process,” a Kushner spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday. “Those involved in the process again have confirmed that there are dozens of people at Mr. Kushner’s level whose process is delayed, that it is not uncommon for these clearance reviews to take this long in a new administration, and that the current backlogs are now being addressed.”
A memo on Friday stated that White House aides with temporary top secret/SCI-level clearances would have their statuses downgraded, according to Politico. (The abbreviation SCI refers to “sensitive compartmented information.”)
Kushner’s downgrade, and those of dozens of other staffers, are a part of an attempt to tighten access to sensitive information after it was revealed that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter held top interim clearance even though the FBI had knowledge of domestic abuse accusations against him. It soon emerged that a number of White House aides, including Kushner, had access to top-secret information even though their background checks were not complete.
The White House and Department of Justice did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
CNN reported that the FBI is expect to conclude Kushner’s background check within a month and that a “surge” of agents have been tasked with processing the backlogged investigations.