White House chief of staff John Kelly said that he has “full confidence” that White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s foreign policy work will not be impacted as a result of the White House’s decision to cut access to classified information for staffers with interim security clearances.
“As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly said in a statement Tuesday evening. “Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President’s agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise.”
Kelly’s statement comes just hours after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the decision will not influence Kushner’s projects, although she dodged when asked if Kushner needed classified information to complete his tasks.
“I cannot answer whether someone has security clearance or not, as we’ve addressed many times before,” Sanders said. “But I can tell you: Nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that Jared is doing and he continues and will continue to be a valued member of the team.”
The White House has come under fire recently after it was revealed that approximately 130 staffers worked in the administration with interim security clearances as of November 2017, including Kushner and former staff secretary Rob Porter.
Porter resigned from his post earlier this month after reports emerged accusing him of abusing both of his ex-wives. Porter had access to sensitive information, but had only obtained an interim security clearance.