Tags: clinton | trump | security | gary aldrich

Former Clinton-Era FBI Agent: Trump Slammed on Security Clearances

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Thursday, 01 March 2018 02:39 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One day after the White House finally denied total security clearance to the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the former FBI agent who made sensational news 20 years ago on the issue of lax White House security clearances charged that the Trump administration is getting a “bum rap” on the same issues.

“In a perfect world, everyone who is going to work in a new administration has all of their paperwork done along with the names with which to check their backgrounds on Jan. 19,” said Gary Aldrich, the 26-year FBI agent who worked in the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton White Houses on background checks of officials. “But unfortunately, this almost never happens and security clearances often become a long, very complicated, and voluminous process.”

In 1996, Aldrich made nationwide headlines with his best-seller "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House." The book spelled out widespread lapses in security and background investigations in the White House. It was sharply denounced by the  president’s top associates.

More than a few readers of Aldrich’s book agreed that the former lawman earned a degree of vindication after President Clinton’s own carelessness was unveiled when the Monica Lewinsky scandal surfaced a year after his re-election.

Aldrich does not see anything unusual or untoward in the long background investigation of either Kushner (ending with the denial of his security clearance) or Rob Porter, in which charges of physical abuse by two former wives forced the abrupt resignation of the then-White House staff secretary.

“When folks make allegations, the FBI must dig in and find the truth about them,” he told Newsmax. “Along the way, they’ll often find other witnesses and other allegations and that delays the process even more before a final report goes to the White House Counsel.”

Aldrich also noted that there are a considerable number of forms to be completed by White House staffers undergoing a background check.

“But, for whatever reason, people tend to put off completing them,” he said, “[Clinton’s first press secretary] Dee Dee Myers was someone I kept urging to fill out the disclosure forms. But she would just laugh and say, ‘I’ll get around to it.’”

Where Bush tended to name people to positions who had been in government before and had thus undergone the clearance process, Aldrich pointed out that Trump has named “a lot of folks who are brand new to the whole government and frequently from the business community. So that would naturally take a lot of time.”

As for Kushner himself, Aldrich said, “I don’t know what the final story will be. But because of his widespread business connections and the countries he visited, I’m not surprised at all the investigation took as long as it did.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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One day after the White House denied security clearance to the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the former FBI agent who made sensational news 20 years ago on the issue of lax White House security clearances charged that the Trump administration is getting a “bum rap."
clinton, trump, security, gary aldrich
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2018-39-01
Thursday, 01 March 2018 02:39 PM
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