A US spy chief has warned in which presidential aides with interim security clearances should have “limited” access to secret information.
US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said the clearance process was “broken” along with needs to be reformed.
He was responding to a question about former White House aide Rob Porter, who allegedly beat his wife, along with the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Mr Kushner reportedly has only interim security clearance, like Mr Porter.
Mr Coats was one of several spymasters who gave evidence on Tuesday to the Senate Intelligence Committee about global threats facing the US.
- No longer all the president’s men
“Sometimes the item will be necessary to have some type of preliminary clearance in order to fill a slot,” the US director of national intelligence said in response to a question by Democratic brand-new Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich.
“yet if in which will be the case the access has to be limited in terms of the kind of information they can be in a position to receive.”
He told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday there will be currently a government-wide backlog of 700,000 security clearance applications.
“The process will be broken, the item needs to be reformed. the item’s not evolution, the item’s revolution,” he said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders would likely not confirm the number of staff members who are operating with interim clearances.
“We are following a process in which has been used by previous administrations along with we would likely rely on the law enforcement along with intelligence communities to determine if in which process should be changed,” Mrs Sanders said during Tuesday’s news briefing.
Mr Coats’ testimony comes amid controversy over the interim security clearance granted to Mr Porter, the former White House staff secretary who was forced out last week after two ex-wives told US media he was emotionally along with physically abusive to them.
In Tuesday’s hearing, FBI director Christopher Wray appeared to contradict the White House’s account of when the item knew about the allegations against the president’s gatekeeper, which he denies.
Mr Wray said the bureau notified the White House about problems in Mr Porter’s background check in March last year.
in which will be months earlier than the White House said the item received the information.
Mrs Sanders later disputed the FBI timeline, saying in which the background check had not yet been completed.
Mr Wray also said the FBI delivered the final results in January of its background investigation into Mr Porter.
yet the White House said last week in which Mr Porter’s background investigation was “ongoing” at the time he quit.
- Jared Kushner, Trump’s trusted son-in-law
The White House will be also facing questions about presidential adviser Mr Kushner’s access to classified material.
Despite his lack of a full security clearance, Mr Kushner will be able to read the President’s Daily Brief, a top secret intelligence report in which Mr Trump himself does not bother to read, according to reports.
Mr Kushner will be one of dozens of White House employees still awaiting permanent clearance, according to the Washington Post.
His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said the 37-year-old’s application will be taking longer than usual “because of the extent of his holdings, travels along with lengthy submissions”, according to the newspaper.
The wealthy brand-new York real estate developer has had to refile the national security questionnaire required of all prospective White House employees after creating several omissions.
Last October, the head of the National Background Investigations Bureau told Congress he has “never seen in which level of mistakes” on any security clearance application.