The Trump White House has been no stranger to the whistleblowers, leakers, and angry, post-career drivel, but this week’s iteration of the phenomenon feels a bit heavier than others.
Given the President’s bombastic style, and his claim to be “draining the swamp”, this comes as little surprise. For supporters of Donald Trump, much of this turmoil is metaphorically similar to lifting up a large rock and witnessing the scurrying of whatever dirt-dwelling creatures were stowed away underneath.
Those who oppose the President are inferring much more sinister revelations, of course, thanks to our nation’s current divisive state.
Today’s latest leak from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue packs a more damning punch, however.
A career official in the White House security office says dozens of people in President Donald Trump’s administration were granted security clearances despite “disqualifying issues” in their backgrounds, such as concerns about foreign influence, drug use and criminal conduct.
Tricia Newbold, an 18-year government employee who oversees the issuance of clearances for some senior White House aides, says she compiled a list of at least 25 officials who were initially denied security clearances last year because of their backgrounds. But she says senior Trump aides overturned those decisions, moves that she said weren’t made “in the best interest of national security.”
Newbold’s allegations were detailed in a letter and memo released Monday by Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform committee. Cummings panel has been investigating security clearances issued to senior officials including Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and former White House aide Rob Porter.
While Newbold herself has come forward publicly, she maintains that at least two of the White House officials referenced in her revelations are still under the employ of the Trump Administration.
The news comes as Americans are clamoring for the full release of the Mueller report, which sought to clarify any entanglements between the Trump campaign team and Russian foreign agents.
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