Two White House security specialists rejected President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner’s top secret security clearance after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him, but were overruled by a supervisor, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
NBC News reports that Kushner was just one of at least 30 cases in which Carl Kline, a former Pentagon employee who was installed as director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President in May 2017, overruled career security experts and approved a top secret clearance for incoming Trump officials despite unfavorable information, the two sources said.
They said the number of rejections that were overruled was unprecedented — it had happened only once in the three years preceding Kline’s arrival.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said the Trump White House attracted many people with untraditional backgrounds who had complicated financial and personal histories, some of which raised red flags.
Kushner’s FBI background check identified questions about his family’s business, his foreign contacts, his foreign travel and meetings he had during the campaign, the sources said, declining to be more specific.