Dozens of new Secret Service agents were assigned to White House duty without completing the required national security clearance process — but the few who remain without clearances will have them issued by Friday, agency spokesman Brian Leary said.
"The director has taken immediate steps to accelerate the top-secret adjudication process and has allocated additional resources to ensure that this is completed as quickly as possible," Leary told The Washington Post
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told the Post that he and Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy had a private conversation last week after a whistleblower contacted Meadows and alleged some of the new officers were present at White House meetings where classified material was being discussed.
The agency started a hiring push
after a man jumped the White House fence in September and was able to enter the mansion through its front door and run around on its main floor, creating a breach that prompted lawmakers to call for added protection for the nation's first family.
Normally, all Secret Service agents and officers must submit to a background check, take a lie-detector test, and obtain a top-secret security clearance. The clearance is necessary because often agents and officers are present at meetings at which classified information is discussed.
About four or five dozen officers did not have the security clearances as of last week, before Meadows brought the issue to Clancy's attention, another Secret Service official told the Post. Around two dozen of them were posted at the White House.
Leary said as of late Tuesday, the Secret Service was down to 10 officers who did not have proper clearance.
Meadows, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told the Post he reached out to Clancy as he believed the whistleblower's allegations, and found that it was "very puzzling" that the standards were tolerated so long and that the clearances could be done in a week.
"Without the clearance, you could share information by mistake," Meadows said. "I trust everyone on my staff, but there are only a few with a top-secret clearance.
"They know the zero tolerance that any of us have for inappropriately sharing this information."
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