The Wall Street Journal reports: Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who became a close adviser in the presidential campaign, is likely to take a top White House job, people familiar with the presidential transition say.
Jared Kushner, who has emerged as a lightning rod as departures have mounted in recent days from the team vetting possible appointees, is being pushed to join the president’s inner circle by new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon, these people say.
Mr. Kushner is regarded as Mr. Trump’s eyes and ears inside the evolving presidential transition. He is weighing formally joining his father-in-law in the White House, people familiar with the transition say. The 35-year-old Mr. Kushner would have a role in the White House along the lines of senior adviser or special counsel.
He also is weighing the option of maintaining an influential role informally, without an official White House post, according to people familiar with his thinking. [Continue reading…]
The New York Times reports: After days of reports that President-elect Donald J. Trump had requested a top-secret security clearance for his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, people close to Mr. Kushner said that was not the case. No such request has been made, they said on Wednesday, and he will not sit in on the president’s highly classified daily intelligence briefing.
But should Mr. Trump change his mind, former government officials and experts on classified information said he would have wide latitude as president to bring a family member into the most secret circles of the government.
“The president can authorize clearance for anyone he wants,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s part of his commander-in-chief role. He has broad, essentially unlimited, access in this area.”
Like anyone else, Mr. Kushner would be subject to a background check by the F.B.I. But the president’s authority is so broad, Mr. Aftergood said, that he could override red flags — like fraud, huge personal debt or ties to foreign governments — that would disqualify other applicants.
Mr. Trump said in a Twitter post on Wednesday that he was not seeking security clearances for his children, who he has said will run his businesses while he is in the White House. But he did not address the case of Mr. Kushner, who is married to Mr. Trump’s elder daughter, Ivanka. [Continue reading…]