The White House says new restrictions on top security clearances set to go into effect Friday will not affect the work of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law has been operating for more than a year with an interim clearance, and his position has given him access to some of the most sensitive information, including the president’s daily security briefing.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly announced last week the new policy that would strip interim clearances from those who currently have access at the top levels of the security classification system.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday the change will not impact Kushner’s work.
“Nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that Jared is doing. He continues, and will continue, to be a valued member of the team,” Sanders said.
Kushner’s duties have been wide-ranging, from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to making the federal government run more efficiently, as well as work on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in a statement.
U.S. government employees must submit a form extensively detailing background information such as prior jobs and addresses, relatives, foreign contacts, foreign business activities and criminal record. The information is the basis for investigators to determine whether the person should be trusted to receive any relevant security clearances.
Kushner has amended his submission multiple times, delaying his clearance process.
When asked if Trump would use his executive authority to grant Kushner a clearance, Sanders said Tuesday she had not spoken with the president “about whether or not that would be necessary.”
The new White House policy is set to affect several dozen employees, according to administration officials, though most do not need the top level clearances to do their jobs.