John F. Kelly

Behind Trump's decision to oust his Secret Service chief

irector of the US Secret Service Randolph Alles speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice
Director of the U.S. Secret Service Randolph "Tex" Alles. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynold/ AFP via Getty Images

The White House announced Monday that U.S. Secret Service director Randolph "Tex" Alles would soon be leaving his post, a move that "shocked" USSS agents, according to a secret service official, but didn't come as a surprise to staffers inside the West Wing.

Behind the scenes: Randolph "Tex" Alles, who had no Secret Service experience when appointed by President Trump in April 2017, was brought on to fix an agency with a lot of problems. He was selected at the personal urging of then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, despite others cautioning Trump against it, a senior administration official told Axios.

Report: Trump overruled officials to grant Kushner security clearance

Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner. Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

In May 2018, President Trump ordered chief of staff John Kelly to give Jared Kushner a top secret clearance against the warnings of intelligence officials, prompting Kelly and then-White House counsel Don McGahn to draft internal memos recording the episode, the New York Times reports, citing four people briefed on the matter.

Why it matters: Kushner up until that point only had a temporary clearance, with the White House's personnel security office having delayed the process for unknown reasons. Media reports have suggested that Kushner's foreign business dealings had sparked concerns among officials about whether to allow him access to top secret intelligence. In a January interview with the Times, Trump said he was "never involved" with the process of finally granting Kushner a clearance.