Robert Mueller's Interest in Jared Kushner Reportedly Expanding into Foreign Business Dealings

22 February, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Elena Meyer
  • Robert Mueller is now asking questions about Kushner's personal business dealings during the presidential transition

Porter had been working under an interim security clearance, raising scrutiny over the 30 to 40 White House staffers who are also working with interim security clearances, including the president's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner. Kushner holds one of these interim clearances because of mistakes he made on his forms and the complexity of his financial holdings, the Times reported last week.

It "now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition", CNN wrote.

"Nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that Jared is doing", press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. "He continues, and will continue, to be a valued member of the team", Sanders said at the briefing Tuesday. Kelly did not directly reply to that line of inquiry, instead releasing the statement on Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law.

Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said that the president could intervene to over-ride his chief of staff.

That included executives of Anbang Insurance, a company that's closely tied to the Chinese government - so much so, in fact, that Anbang's attempt to purchase a hotel near a United States naval base in San Diego in 2016 was reportedly called off after U.S. national-security officials voiced their opposition to it.

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That new policy would presumably affect Kushner, who now holds an interim TS/SCI security clearance that has been pending since he joined the White House more than a year ago.

When asked by The New York Times previous year if he would fire Mueller for looking at his family's finances, Trump was noncommittal. "The new policy announced by General Kelly will not affect Mr. Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the president".

Kushner has been forced to repeatedly correct omissions in his "SF-86", the government-wide form used to apply for clearances, as well as his financial disclosure forms, which experts said could delay or even nix his chances of earning a clearance through the normal process.

Kelly, under fire last week over the White House's handling of domestic abuse allegations against a senior aide, ordered an overhaul of the security clearance process for current and incoming top administration officials. It is not clear what is causing the delay, but Kushner is a focus of a special prosecutor's investigation of alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

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