Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Trump administration's intelligence watchdog rejected Senate Democrats' request to investigate the White House's handling of security clearances for employees including senior advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, a letter obtained by NBC News Wednesday shows.

Details: In the July 22 letter, Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community, told the Democrats he could only investigate the issue if the president requested it. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, and 3 other top Democrats sent President Trump a letter Wednesday, asking him to order a probe.

Why it matters: A White House security adviser told the House Oversight Committee in April that 25 denials for security clearance applications were overridden by the Trump administration.

  • Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, has had his security clearance come into question before as a result of his numerous foreign contacts and reports that he's used WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging app, to communicate with foreign leaders.

What they're saying: Congress would take a more direct role in legislating and overseeing White House security clearances unless such a review was conducted, warned the letter — signed by Warner and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), ranking member on the Judiciary Committee; Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee; and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), ranking member on Armed Services.

"Over the last two years, public reporting has raised serious concerns about irregularities and questionable decisions related to eligibility determinations for [White House] personnel access to classified information."
— Excerpt from the Democrats' letter to Trump

The other side: Kushner told Fox News when asked about the issue in April, "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."

Go deeper: Cummings names subpoena targets for security clearance investigation

Go deeper

Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,788,343 — Total deaths: 199,421 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Biden to Senate GOP after RBG passing: "Please follow your conscience"

Joe Biden made a direct appeal to Senate Republicans in a speech addressing the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, urging them to "cool the flames that have been engulfing our country" by waiting to confirm her replacement until after the election.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said soon after the news of Ginsburg's death that President Trump's nominee would get a vote on the Senate floor.