Jared Kushner has been a key figure in the Trump administration. His portfolio as the president’s advisor had him play a pivotal role in the administration’s foreign policy. Top among his successes include liaising with Mexico and brokering the Middle East peace deal. As an advisor, Kushner had access to daily intelligence briefings at the White House. The president’s daily briefs that include information from sensitive state sources, allied intelligence agencies as well as CIA covert operations, are accessed by few top-level officials.
However, the recent move to have his interim security clearance downgraded will affect Kushner’s work. Revoking of his security clearance denies Kushner access to security briefings. In his position, the intelligence information is vital in the discussions he holds with other nations. Lack of this information, therefore, hampers his ability to deliver on his mandate effectively.
The security clearance was revoked following gaps in his background checks. The situation was further compounded by the new security policy adopted by the administration’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Kelly’s handling of the matter of former secretary Rob Porter’s, came under heavy criticism. Porter had access to the security briefs in the backdrop of his pending security clearance, which was not confirmed because of the accusations of domestic abuse levelled against him by his two ex-wives. In solving this issue, Kelly adopted the policy to deny security briefs to interim security clearance holders.
Concerns have been raised about the eligibility of individuals in the administration having access to sensitive and classified information. It emerged that 130 of the administration’s employees were operating under an interim clearance. Top among them are Jared Kushner, his wife, Ivanka Trump, and White House Counsel, Don McGahn.
In light of this challenge, Kushner’s effectiveness in his role is in question, and with it, his position as Trump’s number one advisor.