Donald Trump has committed a number of unconscionable acts during his two-year reign of terror, which can make it hard to keep up with his more pedestrian ethics violations—like granting his daughter, Ivanka, and her windsock of a husband security clearances despite his top advisers telling him not to.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, The President derided reports that he was seeking a security clearance for his daughter as “fake news,” writing on Twitter that “I am not trying to get ‘top level security clearance’ for my children. This was a typically false news story.” Now, CNN reports that he didn’t really have to “try”: He just did it!
According to three sources familiar with the matter, Trump pressured his then-chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn to obtain a security clearance for his daughter, who prior to November of 2016 was nominally employed as a perfume salesperson. Generally the matter of security clearances are left up to the White House personnel security office. Not this time:
But after concerns were raised by the personnel office, Trump pushed Kelly and McGahn to make the decision on his daughter and son-in-law’s clearances so it did not appear as if he was tainting the process to favor his family, sources told CNN. After both refused, Trump granted them their security clearances.
Last week, the New York Times reported that Trump had also demanded a top security clearance for Jared Kushner. However, his clearance was downgraded last February, prompting anger from both Kushner and Ivanka. According to the Times:
Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump both complained to the president about the situation, current and former administration officials said. In Mr. Kushner’s case, Mr. Trump would often turn to other aides and say in frustration, “Why isn’t this getting done?” according to a former administration official. On at least one occasion, the president asked another senior official if the person could sort out the issue. That official said no, according to this account.
In response to questions from reporters, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said only that, “We don’t comment on security clearances,” adding that “We cannot respond to every anonymous source.”