If you aren’t familiar with the story here it is as reported by Fox
Now, this post isn’t about criticizing the President or his staff for bringing on Porter who was either known or was know very shortly after he started in the Whitehouse to have allegations of physical abuse against both of his ex-wives.
The real question that I find interesting is that Porter was working with an interim security clearance. Now I’m sure you all know that the President himself can waive the need for a clearance. For example, the President has, to this point, waived the need for Jared Cushner to acquire a clearance and give him access to classified data even though the FBI has not granted him a full security clearance, and that’s fine (legally) as the President has that authority.
In the case of Mr. Porter, the FBI informed the Whitehouse that he would not be eligible for a clearance. Reportedly Chief of Staff John Kelly and Whitehouse council Don Mcgann were made aware of why Rob Porter could not get a clearance.
Interestingly, the President claims he knew nothing about Mr. Porter’s background (and ostensibly the allegations against him).
So, the question is, who cleared Rob Porter to see all of the material that the President sees (as it’s the Whitehouse Secretaries job to deliver to the President materials he has to read and sign).
So this comes down to:
- The President waived the need for a clearance for Rob Porter despite his background.
- The President waived the need for a clearance for Rob Porter knowing nothing of his background (it was kept from him).
- Somone else allowed Rob Porter to maintain his interim clearance (if not the FBI or the President, who would have that authority?)
All three are troubling.
- Legal, but raises questions about the President’s judgment
- This raises questions about the President’s staff and how much control the President has over his own Whitehouse.
- Illegal, as only the FBI or the President, would have the authority to grant (the FBI) or waive (the President) the security clearance process.
Now I’m always genuinely interested in the perspectives I get here, even if I disagree.