Speaking on the Fox News Channel program “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders addressed reports that the White House overturned 25 denied security clearances — and that congressional Democrats now want to dig further into the issue.
“You know I can’t get into a discussion on individual security clearances,” said Sanders. “What I can tell you is that Democrats are acting in bad faith throughout this process. They’re asking for personal confidential information that they know they have absolutely no right to see.”
“We have worked with Democrats,” she added. “We’ve been cooperative in this process. We have shown them security process documents over the course of the last couple of weeks. We’ve invited them to the White House to sit down with government officials here in the administration to discuss that process. And we’ve been cooperative on that front, but we’re not going to put the three million people who are full-time employees of the federal government that hold security clearances personal information at risk because Democrats want to pretend and play games instead of do their jobs.”
A whistleblower at the White House, speaking to the House Oversight Committee, raised concerns about the security clearance process recently — and how a number of clearances supposedly were approved despite some issues, including foreign influence and drug use.
On Tuesday, House Democrats voted to subpoena the individual.
Sanders added pointedly on the issue, “Unlike Democrats, we want to protect people’s personal confidential information. Let’s not forget, three million Americans have security clearances that work for the government — and by exploiting one, you’re exploiting all of their personal information. And I think Democrats know that. And I think what they’re doing is dangerous and I think what they’re doing is sad and shameful. And America deserves much better than that.”
Fox News host Laura Ingraham brought up the security clearance issue during a Monday night interview on “The Ingraham Angle” with Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.
“I can’t comment [on] the White House’s process,” Kushner told her, “but what I can say is that over the last two years that I’ve been here, I’ve been accused of all different types of things. All of those things have turned out to be false,” he added, mentioning as well that there were “a lot of crazy accusations that we colluded with Russia.”
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Ingraham asked him if he thought he posed a “grave national security concern” to the country.
Kushner just praised the “phenomenal people” he works with at the White House and within the administration.
There has been “particular scrutiny over Kushner’s security clearance in recent months,” Mediaite reported — and according to a report in The New York Times, Trump ordered that Kushner get a top-secret security clearance, “overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer.”
"She wasn’t looking to go public. But her back was to the wall and she did what she had to do.” My story about a longtime White House employee who blew the whistle on questionable security clearance practices https://t.co/7K8Q23HDPo
— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) April 2, 2019
— The Hill (@thehill) April 2, 2019
Sanders also addressed the crisis at the southern border during her Fox News “America’s Newsroom” interview on Tuesday.
She said that Mexico is “stepping up and taking a greater sense of responsibility in this process. That’s a great thing. We need them to continue to do that so that we aren’t forced to take drastic action, like closing the ports of entry at our border because we simply have no choice.”
“Look, everyone wants to talk about the cost of doing that. That is certainly, again, not something we want to happen. The president’s the one that is responsible for the last two years of economic growth, economic boom, and the number of jobs that we have in this country.”
“We don’t want to see that hurt — but at the same time, the president’s number-one responsibility is to protect American life. Democrats may not care about that.”