Jared Kushner loses access to top-level meetings

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Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner has been stripped of his access to the nation’s top secrets, officials said on Tuesday after his security clearance was downgraded.

Kushner, along with other White House officials who had been operating on interim clearances, had their access altered last week after chief of staff John Kelly stipulated new changes to the security clearance system, reports CNN.

Aides who previously operated on “top secret/sensitive compartmented information” interim clearances saw their access changed to “secret,” a classification for less sensitive material.

The lesser “secret” clearance allows access to far fewer government secrets. It would prevent Kushner from accessing the Presidential Daily Brief, the collection of top secret material prepared for the commander in chief every day.

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Due to large number of White House officials operating on interim clearances since Trump took office more than a year ago, Kelly grew frustrated with dozens of aides without permanent access and has worked to shrink the number of temporary clearances.

He issued a memo last week spelling out changes to the system, which gained new scrutiny after domestic abuse allegations against former aide Rob Porter surfaced this month.

In the February 16 memo, Kelly stated that White House officials, including Kushner, who have been operating on interim clearances since last June would have their temporary clearances discontinued.

–IANS

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