Ivanka Trump's Security Clearance Is Finally Permanent — After Over A Year Of Delays
More than a year after officially joining the White House as a presidential advisor, Ivanka Trump finally has full security clearance, Axios reported Thursday. After being given interim security clearance in June 2017, the FBI finally gave her full clearance on May 1st, the same day that, according to the New York Times, her husband and fellow presidential advisor Jared Kushner was also given full clearance.
With full clearances, Trump will be allowed to sit in on high-level meetings at the White House, including the president's daily briefing, and she and Kushner will have access to foreign intelligence and other sensitive information.
The status of Ivanka Trump's security clearance was unknown for quite some time, and as part of their background check, FBI counterintelligence officials were at one point investigating one of her international business deals to determine whether she would be susceptible to foreign influence, according to CNN. However, Axios reports that she received an interim clearance in June.
Kushner faced delays in receiving his own permanent clearance, according to CNN, in part due to Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference. People reported that he operated on a temporary Top Secret security clearance for over a year, before having it downgraded to secret status in February by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
As all-purpose presidential advisers, Trump and Kushner's precise roles in the White House are somewhat undefined. However, Trump has voiced support for LGBT-friendly initiatives and paid maternity leave during her time in the White House, while President Donald Trump has tasked Kushner with striking a peace deal in the Middle East.
So far, none of their efforts appear to have gone anywhere in the Trump administration. As president, Donald Trump has pursued an anti-LGBT agenda, rescinding multiple anti-discrimination protections for trans people that President Barack Obama implemented and arguing in court that the Civil Rights Act doesn't protect gay and bisexual Americans from discrimination. Though Ivanka Trump did craft a paid maternity leave plan with Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, it went nowhere in Congress.
Israeli-Palestinian relations, meanwhile, appear to have deteriorated since Kushner took over the negotiations. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said in December that he no longer wants the United States involved in the peace process, thanks to Kushner and Donald Trump's support for relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The day Kushner attended the reopening of the embassy, Israeli troops fired on Palestinian protesters at the Gaza border, killing dozens.
In October, Democratic Reps. Ted Lieu and Don Beyer wrote a letter to White House counsel Don McGahn demanding that Ivanka Trump's security clearance be revoked, citing reports that she used a personal email account for government work and, separately, that she and Kushner were fined for filing their financial disclosure forms late. Soon thereafter, Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, called for Trump's clearance to be reviewed on account of her business holdings.
"I don't question Ivanka Trump’s sincerity to advance a cause she feels deeply about while making money—that's great, that's America," Cardin told Newsweek at the time. "What is not allowed is for anyone to profit off holding a public position. We should have full disclosure of all her financial interests, and when you don’t have that, it raises serious questions. Does that involve her security clearance? Absolutely." Cardin had previously argued, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, that Trump's simultaneous involvement with her clothing line and a women's entrepreneurship fund at the World Bank that she championed could present a conflict of interest.
According to Axios, Trump's security clearance is classified permanent Top Secret, the highest level available.