Ivanka Trump should give up her security clearance immediately if she acquired it through unfair means, a CNN contributor has argued.
The first daughter and White House adviser has come under fire following a CNN report suggesting President Donald Trump pressured former Chief of Staff John Kelly and White House Counsel Don McGahn into giving Ivanka a top-secret level security clearance, despite their objections.
When they voiced concerns, Trump reportedly took the decision to issue the clearance for Ivanka himself, using presidential authority.
However, in an interview with Abby Huntsman on ABC News earlier this month, Ivanka explicitly said her father had “zero” role in granting security clearance for her or her husband, Jared Kushner.
On Wednesday, CNN The Lead host Jake Tapper played Ivanka’s interview to panelists as they discussed the first daughter’s suggestion that Trump had no role in issuing her clearance, Mediaite reported.
Contributor Amanda Carpenter responded, “Maybe she didn’t know, but that doesn’t appear to be true. I don’t know if she knew she was lying to Abby Huntsman, but I know this. If she did not obtain her clearance through a fair and vetted process, she should surrender it immediately. Because otherwise she is living an embarrassing lie that she has her position in the White House through any fair means.”
Tiffany Cross, the managing editor of The Beat DC, went further. “The only thing that interview proves is that she is as bad of a liar as her father is,” she told the panel. “I don’t understand why she needs a high security, or security clearance.”
The report on Ivanka’s clearance came soon after The New York Times alleged that Trump had also pushed through security clearance approval for son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, again despite serious concerns expressed by Kelly and McGahn. In Kushner’s case, Kelly even went as far as to pen an internal memo recording his objection.
Kelly introduced changes to the security clearance system in February 2018 after senior aide Rob Porter was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife, CNN reported.
Many staffers, including Kushner, then saw their clearances downgraded from “top secret/sensitive compartmentalized information” interim clearances to “secret,” which covers less sensitive material. Trump then reportedly pressured officials to grant both Kushner and Ivanka newly upgraded clearances.
Speaking on both Jared and Ivanka’s clearances, Cross said Wednesday, “It baffles me that all of these ‘patriots’ are defending this kind of process, that is clear nepotism and clearly inappropriate.”