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Kushner with Kelly and Porter in the West Wing. Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, "is resisting giving up his access to highly classified information, prompting an internal struggle" with Chief of Staff John Kelly, the N.Y. Times reports.

The state of play: "Kushner is one of dozens of White House officials operating under interim security clearances because of issues raised by the F.B.I. during their background checks ... In a memo issued on Friday, Mr. Kelly said he would revoke top clearances for anyone whose background check had been pending since June 1 or earlier."

  • The conflict: "Kushner, ... concerned that Mr. Kelly has targeted him personally with the directive, has told colleagues at the White House that he is reluctant to give up his high-level access ... Kushner has insisted that he maintain his current level of access, including the ability to review the daily intelligence briefing when he sees fit."
  • The backdrop: Kushner runs the White House's Middle East peace efforts, and is one of the few Trump officials who has had access to the President's Daily Brief, the crown jewels of U.S. intelligence products.
  • Where it stands: "Kelly, who has been privately dismissive of Mr. Kushner since taking the post of chief of staff but has rarely taken him on directly, has made no guarantees, saying only that the president’s son-in-law will still have all the access he needs to do his job under the new system."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said at yesterday's briefing: "I can tell you that nothing that has taken place will affect the valuable work that Jared is doing."

Be smart: Kelly is in a weak position, with President Trump and the senior staff, because of his botched handling of domestic violence allegations against former Staff Secretary Rob Porter. Colleagues expect Jared to win this one.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - Health

Pfizer-BioNTech: Booster doses more effective at blocking Omicron

Prepared doses of the BioNtech-Pfizer Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Germany on Dec. 7. Photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine were significantly less effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant in early lab tests, but a three-dose regimen was more effective.

Why it matters: Omicron, which has been labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization after being identified by scientists in South Africa last month, has forced vaccine makers to reassess the effectiveness of their vaccines against this specific new form of coronavirus.

Mike Allen, author of AM
51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden unveils "Building a Better America" branding

President Biden speaks on infrastructure while visiting a bridge in Woodstock, N.H., last month. Photo: John Tully/Getty Images

President Biden today launched a new website and unveiled bold new branding as part of a nationwide tour to sell the benefits of his infrastructure package.

Why it matters: The White House says passage of the new law shows the ability to "forge bipartisan consensus and prove our democracy can deliver big wins" even in these toxic times.

2 hours ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.