Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | james clapper | jared kushner | john kelly | security clearance

James Clapper on Kushner: John Kelly 'Did the Right Thing'

Image: James Clapper on Kushner: John Kelly 'Did the Right Thing'
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018 08:59 PM

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly "did the right thing" in downgrading Jared Kushner's security clearance.

"My impression is that John Kelly made a decision across the board with everyone that was affected, including Jared Kushner, which is the right judgment," Clapper, who served in the Obama White House, told Erin Burnett on CNN.

"Now," he cautioned, "the president is the ultimate clearance-granter — and if he wants to make an exception, and still give his son-in-law access, he can do that."

Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and top White House adviser, was among several staffers with interim clearances who were downgraded by Kelly, according to news reports.

Clapper told Burnett the change would make it "very difficult" for Kushner to "do anything meaningful without having access to the classified intelligence at the highest levels."

Further, Kushner attending classified meetings with the lower clearance "inhibits the conducting of business," Clapper said.

He also complimented National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers for "telling truth to power" in his congressional testimony that President Trump has not directly instructed him to counter Russian cyberattacks regarding the U.S. election.

"It's both stunning and emblematic," Clapper told Burnett. "This is consistent with the president's singular indifference to the threat posed by Russia.

"He, for whatever reason, just can't accept it.

"What's required here is a whole-of-government, if not a whole-of-society approach here – and that can only be led by the White House.

"So, good on Mike Rogers for telling truth to power here."

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White House chief of staff John Kelly did the right thing downgrading Jared Kushner's security clearance, former Obama administration official James Clapper told CNN on Tuesday.
james clapper, jared kushner, john kelly, security clearance
Tuesday, 27 Feb 2018 08:59 PM
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