During an appearance on Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs Tonight on Thursday, veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins defended the granting of White House adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance, saying America “should be grateful” Kushner is there.
Dobbs began the segment with a statement released by Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, indicating the president’s son-in-law obtained his security clearance through the usual process and “without pressure from anyone.”
Rollins said it did not matter how Kushner received his clearance, because the president is “the ultimate decision maker” when it comes to who will be cleared, and further, Americans should be glad Kushner is in the White House.
“Jared has served this president very ably and effectively around the world,” Rollins said. “He deserves a top security clearance. And whatever the bureaucrats in there who don't like him are certainly playing games with him. But the bottom line is we should be grateful he is there, he's great and I'm sure the president is grateful he's there.”
The attorney’s statement and ensuing exchange between Dobbs and Rollins were in response to reports earlier this year that Kushner’s application for top-secret clearance was initially rejected.
NBC News reported in January that a background check had found issues with Kushner’s contacts, travel abroad, and his family’s business, resulting in the rejection of the application by two White House security specialists.
Carl Kline, director of the personnel security office in the Executive Office of the President, reportedly overruled the rejection and granted the security clearance requested for Kushner.