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Whistleblower reveals ‘grave breaches’ in White House security clearances

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US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One upon departure from West Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. – Trump is returning to Washington following a weekend visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)

Some 25 White House officials including top advisors of President Donald Trump were given security clearances despite staff recommendations against it, a whistleblower has told Congress.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings said in a letter Monday that White House security official Tricia Newbold detailed to his panel “grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration.”

None of the 25 were named, but in his letter, addressed to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings requested information relating to clearances for National Security Advisor John Bolton, former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Trump daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and several other top security officials.

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He also said he would subpoena Carl Kline, Newbold’s former superior at the White House Personnel Security Office, to testify to the committee on the clearances, along with other officials.

Newbold told the committee that the Personnel Security Office recommended against security clearances — which allow access to top secret materials — for the 25, Cummings said.

But the 18-year veteran of the White House said they were overruled by higher-ups.

“I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security,” Newbold told the committee, according to Cummings’ letter.

Newbold’s dispute with Kline over the clearances issue became public earlier this year when she was suspended from her job and reportedly filed a formal whistleblower complaint.

According to NBC News, the problem began in mid-2017 over Jared Kushner, one of Trump’s closest advisors who despite apparent issues in his file was granted a top-secret clearance.

Since then numerous questions have been raised over Kushner’s access to top-level security materials and his possible use of disallowed computers and communications to handle secret materials.

Last year the White House was also questioned about the security clearance granted Trump aide Rob Porter despite domestic abuse allegations from two ex-wives.


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