Some of the Most Recognizable Names in the Trump White House Are Operating WithoutÂ 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 â€“ whose ability to obtain a permanent security clearance has been news since he joined the administration â€“ 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 onÂ interim security clearances. ButÂ “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 withoutÂ permanent security clearances areÂ Dan Scavino, a longtime Trump aide who now serves as the presidentâ€™s director of social media.Â
White House counsel Don McGahn does not have aÂ permanent security clearance.Â
EvenÂ Dina Powell, who serves as President Trump’s deputy national security adviser but left the administration last month, did not have aÂ permanent security clearance.Â
Powell was part of the President’s National Security Council. “10 of 24 officials listed in the documents â€” about 42 percent â€” 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 aÂ 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 theÂ future.
But “10 months into Trumpâ€™s administration, at least 85 political appointees in the White House, vice presidentâ€™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 onlyÂ Trump appointees NBC News notes as being highly recognizable who are operating withÂ permanent security clearances are WhiteÂ House Communications Director Hope Hicks andÂ Counselor to the PresidentÂ 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.
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Burn Bags and Use of Personal Email: Justices’ Security Practices Even Worse Than Leak Investigation Showed
Multiple sources familiar with the court’s operations told CNN that justices often used personal email accounts for sensitive communications, employees used printers that didn’t produce logs and “burn bags” to collect sensitive materials for destruction were often left open and unattended in hallways.
“This has been going on for years,” one former employee said.
Some justices were slow to adopt email technology — they were “not masters of information security protocol,” according to one source — and court employees were afraid to confront them over the security risks.
Supreme Court marshal Gail Curley in her investigative report noted that printer logs intended to track document production were insufficient, but a former employee said employees who had VPN access could print documents from any computer, and remote work during COVID-19 shutdowns and otherwise meant draft opinions could have been taken from the building in violation of court guidelines.
Curley’s report noted that court methods for destroying sensitive documents should be improved, but three employees said striped burn bags supplied to chambers were often left sitting out unattended, and each justice had their own protocols for disposing of court documents.
A source familiar with court security practices said some colleagues stapled burn bags shut, while others filled them to capacity and left them near their desks, and others simply left them sitting in hallways where anyone with access to non-public areas could have taken sensitive materials.
Ethics Complaint Against Sinema Urges Investigation Into Staffers’ Duties and Her Possible ‘Abuse of Taxpayer Dollars’
If you are hired to work in Senator Kyrsten Sinema‘s office on Capitol Hill there is a 37-page memo you’ll want to read detailing all the responsibilities her staffers are required to perform, from getting her groceries, calling Verizon and going to her D.C. home to wait for a repair person if the internet goes out, scheduling massages, and ensuring her very detailed airplane requirements are met.
“It is your job to make her as comfortable as possible on each flight,” the memo says, as The Daily Beast first reported in December.
But now a group of 13 non-profit organizations have joined to file an ethics complaint against Senator Sinema (I-AZ), a new Daily Beast report reveals Friday, including details from that 37-page memo which the newly-independent lawmaker directed to be drawn up. Dated Thursday, the complaint is titled: “Letter to Senate Ethics Committee Regarding Reports of Sinema Abusing Taxpayer Dollars.”
“Senate Ethics guidelines stipulate that staff should not be asked to perform personal errands for members. This is an unambiguous ethical boundary,” the group’s complaint reads.
It also points to that 37-page memo, which it says, “indicates that staff are required, as a condition of their jobs, to carry out numerous tasks that are outside the scope of public employment, including doing personal errands for the Senator, carrying out household tasks at her private residence, and advancing their own funds for her personal purchases. It makes unreasonably precise scheduling demands, and former staff have confirmed some of the allegations.”
The allegations continue.
“And, most troubling, it calls on staff members, who are employed and paid by the public and explicitly barred from campaign activity, to schedule and facilitate political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors, presumably during the workday while they are on the clock and physically on federal property.”
“Senate staff are prohibited under your guidelines from engaging in political activity ‘on Senate time, using Senate equipment or facilities.’ While you have not prohibited campaign activity outside work hours, the plain language of the memo clearly implies that Sen. Sinema expects her staff to carry out these scheduling tasks during the workday. And these tasks may separately violate Senate Rule 41.1, which explicitly prohibits Senate employees from ‘solicit[ing]’ campaign funds.”
The complaint also alleges that “Sen. Sinema required her staff to schedule three physical therapy and massage sessions a week related to her training for athletic competitions, and to tightly manage her dietary schedule — while allotting only a 30-minute period on Wednesdays for meetings with the constituents she represents.”
The carefully-worded complaint adds, “the allegations paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law.”
The Daily Beast has posted a copy of the complaint here.
You can read The Beast’s full report here.
Santos May Owe Thousands in Unpaid Traffic Violation Fines and Fees Across Two States: Report
When he left for Washington, D.C., U.S. Rep. George Santos also appears to have left a string of unpaid traffic violation fines and fees in two states, including red light, double parking, and overtime parking citations totaling thousands of dollars.
The embattled serial liar and freshman New York GOP lawmaker “may owe more than $3,400 in unpaid citations, according to records from New York City and Florida,” CBS News reports.
Included in that total is $1,299.10 from Florida for toll violations that “racked up late fees and were ultimately sent to collections agencies.”
It appears that in November of 2016, as soon as he got his New York driver’s license after having one in Florida, a car previously ticketed via a red light camera whose plates match one registered to Santos “began piling up citations in New York City — 29 in the next two and a half years, according to city government records, which do not identify the drivers of vehicles being ticketed.”
“More than $1,800 in payments were made for 17 citations, but another 12 remain unpaid, with $2,142.61 still due, according to city records.”
CBS News also points to a New York Post report from January revealing “a Nissan Rogue driven frequently by Santos in recent months had been issued speeding tickets at least five times since he was elected on Nov. 8, ‘including four times in school zones.'”
Santos is under numerous state and federal investigations that span the gamut from campaign finance to allegedly stolen charity funds donated to save the life of a veteran’s service dog. The dog died after the vet could not afford to pay for the operation.
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
‘Absolutely Repulsive’: Some House Republicans Are Now Wearing an Assault Weapon Lapel Pin
- News3 days ago
Kyle Rittenhouse to Face Wrongful Death Lawsuit After 100-Hour Hunt to Find Him
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
GOP’s New ‘Bizarre Obsession’ Shows It Has ‘Gone Crazy’: Morning Joe
- COMMENTARY1 day ago
Trump Spent 2020 Attacking Ballot Drop Boxes – but Now He’s Demanding They Be Deployed in Churches
- News2 days ago
‘When Was Your Most Recent Period?’: Student Athletes in Florida May Be Required to Share Menstrual History
- News2 days ago
George Santos Says Man Interviewed for Staff Position ‘Violated’ His Trust After Secretly Recording Conversation
- News2 days ago
‘They’re Not Taking My Gas Stove’: Joe Manchin Teams Up With Hard Core Republicans to Promote False Claims
- News2 days ago
‘Firehose of Disinformation’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders Picked to Deliver State of the Union Response in Nod to Trump (Video)