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Whistleblower claim of the Trump team's security-clearance meddling sparks uproar on the House committee



A key House committee was gripped by infighting Monday as Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Released details of whistleblower allegations that dozens of people in the Trump administration were given security clearances despite "disqualifying issues" in their backgrounds.

] Tricia Newbold, an 18-year-old government employee who oversees the issuance of clearance for some senior White House aides, said she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearance last year because of their backgrounds. But 19659003 KUSHNER RESPONDS TO SECURITY CLEARANCE CLAIMS

Newbold's allegations were detailed in a letter and memo released Monday by Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House's Oversight and Reform Committee.

The move prompted a fiery retort from the top Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio, whose office described the publication of the information as "reckless."

"It is extremely unfortunate and disappointing that Chairman Cummings is now using this sensitive topic as a pretense for a partisan attack on the White House, "Jordan said in a statement. "

He complained that Newbold's interview was only carried out on Saturday morning ̵

1; and the Republicans" did not know how to handle the security clearance process, They said that some of the 25 examples cited include "non political politicians such as GSA Depositary".

CHAFFETZ: SCHIFF SHOULD LOSE SECURITY CLEARANCE

Jordan continued: "Chairman Cummings has departed from the long bipartisan oversight of the security clearance process to advance his partisan efforts to attack the president. His unilateral decision to release a cherry-picked excerpts from one witness so early in an investigation is far from the constructive oversight he promised. "

The oversight panel has been investigating security clearances issued to senior officials including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a former national security adviser to Michael Flynn, and former White House aide to Rob Porter.

The New York Times reported that Trump ordered the officials to grant Kushner clearance over the objections of national security officials and after Newbold spoke to NBC News and other news outlets about her concerns. It also sets the stage for another fight between the White House and the Democratic-controlled House. Cummings said he will move this week to authorize his first proclamation in the probe. [19659005] Cummings said the censure would be for the deposition of Carl Kline, who served as White House staff security director and supervised by Newbold.

Newbold laid out her experience in the White House during a March 23 interview with bipartisan committee staff. According to the memo, Newbold's list of overturned security clearance denials included "two current senior White House officials, as well as contractors and individuals across different components of the Executive Office of The President. "

" According to Ms. Newbold, these individuals had a wide range of seriously disqualifying issues involving foreign influences, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use and criminal behavior, "the memo says

Newbold said that she raised her concerns up the chain of command in the White House to no avail. Instead, she said, the White House retaliated, suspending her in January for 14 days without paying for a new policy requiring that the documents be scanned as separate PDF files instead of one single PDF file.

Newbold said that when she returned To work in February, she was cut out of the security clearance process and removed from supervisory responsibility.

Cummings' memo does not identify officials in Newbold's list.

Flynn maintained his clearance even after the White House learned he lied to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Kushner failed to initially disclose numerous foreign meetings on security clearance forms, and according to the Times, career officials recommended to grant him one before Trump personally overruled. They

Porter had high-level access with an interim security clearance, even though the FBI repeatedly told the White House of past allegations of domestic violence that was filed against him by two ex-wives.

Porter resigned after the allegations becoming public

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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