According to Talking Points Memo, Tricia Newbold, a whistleblower with dwarfism, allegedly witnessed abuses in the White House security clearance process. Since reporting these abuses, she has been dealing with humiliating forms of retaliation relating to her status as a woman with dwarfism.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings (D-MD) circulated a memo that details Newbold’s allegations. Newbold said that Carl Kline, former personnel security director for the White House, retaliated against Newbold by placing files out of her reach, as she has dwarfism.
“As little as I am, I’m willing to fight and stand up for what I know is right,” Newbold said. “They’ve always respected that about me.”
Newbold identified about 25 cases where political staff overrode security clearance issuances after they were rejected. The clearances went to both contractors and public officials.
Once Newbold began to raise concerns about the security clearances, Kline apparently began to retaliate against her.
According to Cumming’s memo, Kline “began taking actions that were designed to humiliate her as a result of her rare form of dwarfism” in January 2018.
The memo said that Kline hindered Newbold by “physically elevating personnel security files out of her reach.”
Newbold told lawmakers that it took the White House two months to lower the files. More, although she had no disciplinary record after 18 years of working at the White House, on January 30, 2019 she received a two-week suspension without pay. She was suspended for refusing to “support new procedures your supervisor implemented.” She was also criticized for “constant defiance of authority.”`
Newbold also said that personnel security files are being left where they could be easily accessible to people without government escorts.
“She recounted an instance in 2018 when two unauthorized GSA employees were in the file room, and she had to report them to the Chief Security Officer,” the memo reads. “After this incident, the Chief Security Officer had the files moved into the security office’s space, which is secured and locked, but which has regular outside visitors.”