Trump son-in-law Kushner gets top-level security clearance restored

Trump son-in-law Kushner gets top-level security clearance restored

President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been granted a permanent security clearance, allowing him access to the nation's most closely held secrets, a person familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

Abbe Lowell, who has represented Kushner in the Russian Federation investigation, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that questions asked of Kushner during the April interview were "the appropriate topics that Bob Mueller and his team were looking at".

Kushner lost his access to the country's deepest secrets when White House chief of staff John Kelly downgraded Kushner's clearance due to questions that arose during Kushner's background briefing.

Staff secretary Rob Porter later resigned.

Separately, Mr Lowell told CNN that his client was grilled for a second time for seven hours by Mr Mueller's investigators last month. Kushner had reportedly been operating on an interim clearance for more than a year, while he managed a vast portfolio ranging from relations with Mexico to Middle East peace.

Lowell continued to sidestep the question of whether Kushner was a target, subject, or witness, saying, "Nobody has indicated they have any intention of saying to him, you've done something wrong that would merit any charges". "On each occasion, he answered all questions asked and did everything he could to expedite the conclusion of all the investigations".

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The first interview occurred last fall and the questions were limited to former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, who subsequently pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and began cooperating with Mueller. He is married to Ivanka Trump, the president's oldest daughter. Kushner's family business, for example, is finalizing a deal to finance its most troubled Manhattan property, 666 Fifth Ave., which faces a deadline early next year for repayment of a $1.2 billion debt.

Gaining a permanent security clearance potentially relieves tremendous weight on Kushner, whose contacts with foreign officials during Trump's transition to the White House were subject to major scrutiny and damning media reports.

Career officials approved the clearance following the background check, the newspaper reported.

Whether the restoration of Kushner's clearance is somehow related to his cooperation with Mueller is not immediately clear. But Kushner's troubles were compounded at least in part because his initial security clearance application didn't list dozens of foreign contacts that he later included in updated submissions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Initially, Kushner did not list his foreign contacts on the form, though he submitted an addendum indicating he was willing to detail them. He updated the form in the spring, listing about 100 contacts, but did not mention the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting he attended with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

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