Donald Trump aide accused of overruling security officials to clear administration staff

Some 25 White House officials including top advisors of President Donald Trump were given security clearances despite staff recommendations against it, a whistleblower has told Congress.

Newbold said that in addition to the two current senior officials, security clearances were also granted to contractors and other individuals in the executive office of the president, despite their having "a wide range of serious disqualifying issues involving foreign influence, conflicts of interest, concerning personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct".

The veteran White House security adviser testified to the Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Cummings plans to hold a vote on whether to subpoena members of the White House on the security clearance matter.

According to the letter, Newbold told the committee: "I would not be doing a service to myself, my country, or my children if I sat back knowing that the issues that we have could impact national security".

In response to Newbold's interview, Cummings is asking the White House to turn over the list she created as well as documents related to the handling of security clearances for several senior officials including Flynn, Kushner and Porter.

Ms Newbold said she chose to speak to the panel after repeated attempts to share her concerns with superiors were ignored, adding that it was her "last hope to really bring the integrity back to our office", according to a committee-released transcript of her interview on Monday.

The whistleblower, White House security adviser Tricia Newbold, raised concerns about the high-level security clearances given to the officials, including three unnamed White House officials. After reviewing the report, Attorney General William P. Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress last week, saying Mueller "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian Federation in its efforts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election".

But Newbold said the denial was overturned by the director of the White House Personnel Security Office, Carl Kline.

As for the press release Cummings sent on Monday, Jordan added, it was "cherry picked" to try and slander the White House.

Instead, she said, the White House retaliated.

Jordan complained Cummings scheduled the meeting with her on a Saturday and didn't tell the Republicans until the day before.

AOC then said that it was necessary to issue subpoenas to Trump administration officials because they were refusing to cooperate with basic oversight requests.

Ms Newbold, who works as an adjudications manager in the White House Personnel Security Office, cited "grave" security risks arising from the intervention of her colleagues.

Is any of this evidence that any of the officials Trump granted clearances to via such waivers handed classified information over to hostile foreign powers?

A Democratic committee aide told Yahoo News that all nine of these officials were not necessarily among those who were initially denied clearances and said the records were being requested based on "previous public reporting" about issues with their clearances.

  • Jon Douglas