White House clearance procedure tightened

Kelly, meanwhile, said he first learned something was wrong with Porter's clearance in November.

Amid national scrutiny over the hiring of the former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who was accused of abusing his former wives, the White House is responding by fixing its process to clear officials who work with sensitive national security information.

In his memo, Kelly noted that others, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, have said the security clearance process "is broken" across the government and needs to be overhauled.

Later, Kelly writes, "But recent events have exposed some remaining shortcomings", beyond the changes Kelly implemented since taking over as chief of staff previous year.

Russian Federation already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerMeghan McCain: Melania is "my favorite Trump, by far" Dem lawmaker to Trump: "How dare you lecture us about treason" Husband of former Trump family personal aide joins EPA: report MORE has reportedly requested more intelligence information than nearly every other White House official. FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the bureau had completed its investigation into Porter in July. "The FBI official who delivers these files should verbally brief the White House Counsel on any information in those files they deem to be significantly derogatory".

Kelly's response to the allegations raised suspicion after he made statements that appeared to conflict with the White House's comments on when it became aware of the allegations.

But press secretary Sarah Sanders says the White House's assertion that Porter's clearance was still under review with an interim clearance is accurate - because Porter hadn't received a final sign-off from the White House office of personnel security. But Kelly writes he is still not sure whether this is achievable. Administration officials also have suggested that results of that investigation were closely held within the office.

The memo continues to say that the background investigations "of potential Commissioned Officers should be flagged for the FBI at the outset" and requires them to be "hand-delivered" to the White House's counsel afterward.

Wray this week also pushed back against the idea his agency did anything improper in its handling of Porter's clearance.

McGahn was apprised of at least some of the accusations about Porter at least four times, including as early as January 2017, according to White House officials familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. He said additional information was turned over to the White House this month, maintaining that proper protocols had been followed.

Kelly, who prizes his reputation for order, veers throughout the document from talking up his efforts to bring order to the White House while also stating that reforms must be implemented, reflecting his desire inside of the White House to stay on as President Donald Trump's top aide rather than step away following Porter's resignation. Going forward, I am directing that those who have a need to know the contents of BIs for personnel or national security reasons - to include me or a designee in the Chief of Staff's Office - be memorialized.


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