NYT catches Trump in apparent lie about Jared Kushner's security clearance

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner delivers remarks on the Trump administration's approach to the Middle East region at the Saban Forum in Washington

Kushner's lawyer publicly described the process as one that had gone through normal channels, a description that Kelly did not view as accurate, according to a person familiar with his reaction.

Christie, chairman of Trump's transition team, said Cohen told members of the transition team that he was going to be White House chief of staff.

The Times also reported that Trump's decision was opposed by both White House Counsel Don McGann and then-Chief of Staff John Kelly.

After weeks of White House stonewalling, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, in a letter to the White House, said "I am now writing a final time to request your voluntary cooperation".

New York Democrat Adriano Espaillat introduced a bill in the House on Friday in a response to the Times story that amends the so-called Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

"To date, the White House has not produced a single document or scheduled a single interview", Cummings said in a statement.

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The Fox News host addressed the issue on "Shepard Smith Reporting" the day after The New York Times reported that Trump had dismissed concerns about Kushner and demanded last May that the White House senior adviser be given top-secret clearance - over the objection of intelligence agencies. "There is no nepotism exception for background investigations".

"It is not known precisely what factors led to the problems with Mr. Kushner's security clearance", the Times reported.

A spokesperson for Kushner's attorney Abbe Lowell disputed the Times' characterization of Kushner's security clearance process.

"If true, these new reports raise grave questions about what derogatory information career officials obtained about (Jared) Kushner to recommend denying him access to our nation's most sensitive secrets", Cummings wrote in a letter to Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel. He was then granted a full, top-secret clearance in May. That new policy caused Kushner's clearance to be downgraded from "Top Secret/SCI" level to the "Secret" level, a far lower level of access to classified information.

Kushner, who spent this week in the Middle East trying to drum up support for the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, has reportedly been scrutinized over his and his family's business ties and contacts with foreigner governments and entities. "I have no doubt he'll make the right decision".

The meetings - with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank - were not initially reported on Kushner's security clearance forms. The White House refused three times to confirm or deny the documents' existence, Oversight Democrats said.

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