White House Chief of Staff John Kelly implemented hard line policy he earlier announced regarding staff security clearances
Several White House staffers have been fired or reassigned following a security shake-up, including one working for First Lady Melania Trump, according to a report Wednesday.
The list of Trump administration employees affected includes several other individuals with security clearance issues that are “under consideration for possible termination or reassignment in the coming days,” according to ABC News.
While the list was not likely to be made public, it could include a large number of low level staffers who work in the White House, but not necessarily in the West Wing or within proximity of President Trump.
The reshuffling comes on the heels of changes to the security clearance process made by chief of staff John Kelly in the wake of damaging domestic abuse allegations against former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. The subsequent fall out revealed that neatly 135 White House staffer, several in high profile and or sensitive positions have been operating on an interim clearance for nearly 14 months, contrary to the expected few months.
President Donald Trump joined First Lady Melania arrive at Mar-a-Lago for their first weekend getaway from the White House
The action is seen as a follow up to a five-page memo, released last month by Chief of Staff John Kelly, outlining changes to the security clearance process.
That memo came in the wake of disturbing domestic abuse allegations and images against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, hit the media.
Porter who held an interim top security clearance, due to the road blocks posed by his domestic history has denied the accusations. Still he left his top tier White House position under a cloud that has become a PR nightmare for Kelly and other staffers.
The ensuing scandal called into question how security clearances are issued, and who in the White House is able to gain access to classified information without proper clearance.
Kelly, it has been reported, last week wanted a list of remaining White House staffers with security clearance issues presented to him. That list,allegedly followed standard procedures which included such options as considering whether the individual should be relieved of duty or could be reassigned to another administration post.
Former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, forced to leave office in a cloud after it was revealed he failed in his bid for security clearance, in the wake of images of gross domestic abuse
Jared Kushner, the president’s Sr adviser and husband of first daughter Ivanka Trump has his security clearance downgraded, after repeated attempts failed
One notable member of the administration who has been severely impacted by the new security consciousness is The president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. He has been stripped of his temporary, high-level security clearance and given a lower level clearance under new rules imposed by Kelly designed to crack down on West Wing staff with long-pending background investigations.
Kushner was caught up in the scandal as he, like Porter, had been operating under an interim security clearance, before his clearance was downgraded.
The latest development feeds into the general sense of chaos among staffers in the West Wing.
So far more than two dozen notable Trump Administration staffers in the White House and the administration at large have left their posts, the latest being the Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn and long time associate and Communications Director, Hope Hicks.