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Security Clearance Scandal Explodes – Memo Exposes Trump Administration Cover Up for Failed Applicants

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Whistleblower charges top Trump White House officials “continuously overrode” decisions her office made against granting clearances

A whistleblower who has placed her career in jeopardy last month told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that at least 25 applicants – including top Trump White House aides – should not have been granted security clearances but top administration officials overruled the decisions of career civil servants vetting their applications.

Among those aides who were granted clearances against the recommendation of those career civil servants were Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, a CNN National Security correspondent reported.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings on Monday released a 10-page memorandum documenting the whistleblower’s allegations, and it’s a bombshell.

The whistleblower, Tricia Newbold, charges that top Trump White House officials “continuously overrode” decisions her office made against granting clearances.

Among the reasons the 25 or more applicants were originally denied were “foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,” as The New York Times had reported.

Chairman Cummings did not reveal the names of the 25 or more individuals who were granted security clearances after failing review, but he did reveal some of the names of top administration officials whose files – known as “adjudication summaries” – he is requesting.

Among them, John Bolton, Michael Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, Jared Kushner, John McEntee, K.T. McFarland, Robert Porter, Robin Townley, and Ivanka Trump, as Talking Points Memo reports.

Bolton is currently President Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor. Michael Flynn was President Trump’s first, and now fired National Security Advisor. He is also now a convicted felon. And Rob Porter is Trump’s former White House Staff Secretary who resigned after allegations of domestic abuse were made by his ex-wives.

Newbold says she “raised concerns” with at least seven different people in the Trump administration over the granting of security clearances to those who should not have been allowed them.

At one point her supervisor “called me in his office and asked me to change the recommendation. I said I absolutely would not.”

In return for working to protect the Executive Office of the President (EOP), the Trump administration and the White House, Newbold was suspended without pay for 14 days – despite having “had ‘no prior formal disciplinary action’ in her 18-year career and received a rating of ‘Exceeds Expectations’ on her performance appraisal in 2017, the first year of the Trump Administration,” Chairman Cummings’ memo explains.

Her disciplinary notice stated:  “You are not in charge of the Personnel Security Division (PSD) or EOP security. You may not see a complete picture or be aware of the requirements of the entire EOP.”

She says the Trump administration’s new policies are “making the EOP less safe and presenting us more of a risk.”

Chairman Cumming’s memo adds, “Ms. Newbold noted that she fears additional reprisals and losing her job. She stated: ‘I’m terrified of going back. I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office.'”

RELATED STORIES:

TOP TRUMP OFFICIALS GRANTED SECURITY CLEARANCES TO MORE THAN 2 DOZEN APPLICANTS WHO HAD BEEN REJECTED

TRUMP ‘ORDERED’ JOHN KELLY TO GRANT JARED KUSHNER A TOP-SECRET SECURITY CLEARANCE: REPORT

WHITE HOUSE IMPLIES CAREER OFFICIALS AT FBI GAVE JARED KUSHNER PERMANENT SECURITY CLEARANCE – THAT’S FALSE.

JARED KUSHNER USED PRIVATE EMAIL ACCOUNT TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT BUSINESS – ANGER GROWS OVER SECURITY CLEARANCE

 

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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”

“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”

Critics aren’t buying his claims.

Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.

“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.

“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.

“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.

Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”

Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”

Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.

“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up  $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.

Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:

And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”

“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then.  He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”

“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”

 

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‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns

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The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.

Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”

That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”

“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.

“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”

Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.

“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.

“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”

Watch:

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Local Texas Cops Blocked Specialized Federal Tactical Team That Killed Shooter From Engaging for One Hour

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When a specially equipped U.S. Border Patrol tactical team arrived on the scene of Tuesday’s school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, local police who were already on the scene wouldn’t allow them to engage with the shooter, The New York Times reports.

“The agents from Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrived at some point between 12 p.m. and 12:10 p.m., according to the officials — far earlier than previously known,” The Times’ report stated. “But they did not breach the adjoining classrooms of the school where the gunman had locked himself in until a little before 1 p.m. Members of the federal tactical team killed the gunman.”

But officials speaking to The Times say the Uvalde Police Department prevented the agents from going in sooner.

The new details further call into the question the thinking behind how law enforcement responded to the shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers. The Border Patrol and ICE agents say they did not understand why they were force to wait. All of the 21 victims died in the area where 18-year-old Salvador Ramos had barricaded himself in.

IN OTHER NEWS: Christian summer camp ‘rebuked’ girls who reported assault and told them to ‘forgive’ assailant: report

Read the full report at The New York Times.

 

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