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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A White House security adviser told the House Oversight Committee that 25 denials for security clearance applications were overridden by the Trump administration, reports the Washington Post.

Details: Tricia Newbold, who has been a White House security adviser for 18 years, said the security clearances were approved regardless of concerns over blackmail, foreign influences and other concerns, per the Post. Newbold is the highest ranking official at the White House to speak against the Trump administration's actions, per Politico.

What Newbold is saying: During the meeting with the House committee, Newbold repeatedly named Carl Kline, the director of the Personnel Security Office, saying she brought up her concerns to him to no avail.

“[I]f the president wants to override us, he can, but that doesn’t mean at any time that we should alter the way we do business based on what someone may have come out with in the end."
— Tricia Newbold

Republicans on the committee, meanwhile, argued in a letter that chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) cherry-picked excerpts of Newbold's interviews for his "partisan investigation of the White House."

  • Republicans said that Newbold "provided little direct knowledge" about why certain senior White House officials' clearance denials were overriden.
  • They also claimed Newbold testified that "only 4-5 of her unfavorable adjudications were for 'very serious reasons.'"
"If Kline overturned only — at most — five clearance adjudications with very serious concerns out of five thousand, Ms. Newbolds' concerns seem overblown."

What's next: Cummings said he is prepared to subpoena at least one of the 25 individuals to see if national secrets were at risk, according to the New York Times.

  • In a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Cummings cited the security clearance of former national security adviser Michael Flynn as grounds for concern since he was arrested for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

Why it matters: Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and White House adviser, has had his security clearance come into question before as a result of his numerous foreign contacts. His security clearance is being questioned once more after news broke that Kushner had been using WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.