Some of the Most Recognizable Names in the Trump White House Are Operating Without Permanent Security Clearances
President Donald Trump ran on a campaign of attacking Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while making often false accusations about her handling of classified and top secret information while she was Secretary of State.
And yet, more than 130 Trump political appointees working in the Executive office of the President do not have permanent security clearances, as of November of 2017. Among them are some of the most-recognized people in the Trump administration.
NBC News reports that in addition to the president's son-in-law – whose ability to obtain a permanent security clearance has been news since he joined the administration – the president's own daughter, Ivanka Trump, who serves as Advisor to the President, does not have a permanent security clearance.
Many of the 130 have been operating on interim security clearances. But "47 of them are in positions that report directly to President Donald Trump," NBC News notes. "About a quarter of all political appointees in the executive office are working with some form of interim security clearance."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her deputy, Raj Shah, also do not have permanent security clearances, but had been operating on interim clearances.
"Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who first met Trump on 'The Apprentice,' and worked on his campaign, spent 2017 working in the White House but is listed as having no clearance at all."
Also among the 130 without permanent security clearances are Dan Scavino, a longtime Trump aide who now serves as the president’s director of social media.
White House counsel Don McGahn does not have a permanent security clearance.
Even Dina Powell, who serves as President Trump's deputy national security adviser but left the administration last month, did not have a permanent security clearance.
Powell was part of the President's National Security Council. "10 of 24 officials listed in the documents — about 42 percent — had only interim security clearances as of November," NBC reports.
"Some officials who started on January 20, 2017, and were without permanent clearances by November include a special assistant to the president for national security affairs and the National Security Council's senior director for international cybersecurity," CNN, which published a similar report Wednesday evening, adds.
Not having a permanent security clearance does not indicate the appointee has been denied a clearance, nor does it mean they will be unable to obtain one in the future.
But "10 months into Trump’s administration, at least 85 political appointees in the White House, vice president’s office and National Security Council were working without permanent security clearances. About 50 appointees were operating with interim security clearances while serving in offices closely linked to the West Wing, such as the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Trade Representative and the White House executive residence."
The only Trump appointees NBC News notes as being highly recognizable who are operating with permanent security clearances are White House Communications Director Hope Hicks and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
"It is also unclear whether the delay is the result of a bureaucratic backlog or potential complications in the background of these aides," CNN noted.