Apr 2, 2019

White House security clearance scrutiny: Kushner breaks his silence

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner defended himself on Fox News' "'The Ingraham Angle" Monday evening amid fresh scrutiny after a whistleblower said the Trump administration reversed 25 security clearance denials.

What he's saying: "I can’t comment for the White House’s process, but what I can say is that over the last two years that I’ve been here, I’ve been accused of all different types of things, and all of those things have turned out to be false," Kushner told host Laura Ingraham.

Details: Ingraham noted whistleblower Tricia Newbold, who has been a White House security adviser for 18 years, has grave concerns about potential national security implications.

  • She asked Kushner if he posed a grave national security concern to the U.S. He responded by saying Trump's done a "phenomenal job of identifying what are our national security priorities."
"She's [Newbold] had a great team in place that are helping implement it. And I hope I’ve played a good part in pushing those objectives forward. And I think, because of the president’s leadership, the world is safer today."

The big picture: House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) has sent a letter asking the White House to cooperate with the committee's investigation into security clearances, specifically naming in his concerns Kushner and his wife and fellow senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump.

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to reflect that Kushner said Trump had a great team in place, not Newbold.

Go deeper

Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices are in correction, down over 10% from recent record-highs, amid a global market rout. It's the S&P 500's quickest decline into correction territory in the index's history, per Deutsche Bank.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.