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White House risked national security to give clearances to shady people

The White House gave security clearances to people with ‘serious disqualifying issues’ despite warnings, according to a whistleblower.

By Dan Desai Martin - April 01, 2019
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The Trump White House is willing to endanger national security in order to give top security clearance to individuals tainted by foreign influence or past criminal activity.

And the allegations are coming from inside the White House.

A Monday memo from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chair of the House Oversight Committee, details allegations from a White House whistle-blower who works with the security clearance process.

Tricia Newbold, an 18-year veteran of both Republican and Democratic administrations, came forward to “address the national security risks she has been witnessing over the past two years.”

Newbold kept a list of at least 25 individuals who received security clearance despite “a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct,” according to Cummings’ memo.

Newbold and her team at the Personnel Security Office initially denied security clearance to these individuals, only to have their decision overturned by senior officials in the Trump White House. She came forward to Congress only after repeated attempts to raise the issue within the White House were ignored.

Bringing the issue to Congress is “my last hope to really bring the integrity back into our office,” Newbold told the committee.

Newbold stated that there is nothing illegal about Trump or others overruling the team’s recommendation, the sheer scale and manner with which she was overturned concerned her.

She told the committee that the decisions to overturn the recommendations “were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security.”

In response, Cummings announced his intention to subpoena several top White House employees involved in the security clearance process in order to get to the truth about Trump’s troubling habit of overruling concerns by intelligence agencies in order to give security clearances to unqualified White House officials.

Recent media reports show Trump personally intervened to provide top security clearance to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, despite national security concerns by the CIA.

In addition to information about Ivanka Trump and Kushner, Cummings is demanding documents regarding the security clearance process related to John Bolton, Michael Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, John McEntee, K.T. McFarland, Robert Porter, and Robin Townley.

Cummings is interested in “the extent to which national security has been compromised, and whether Congress should amend current laws to improve national security and enhance transparency over these decisions.”

Cummings is determined to hold the administration accountable for their decisions, especially as they relate to national security. And with the help of whistle-blowers like Newbold, the danger Trump presents this country might be held in check.

“I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security,” Newbold told Cummings.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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