Jared Kushner's access to US top secrets withdrawn
Washington: US President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance, limiting his unfettered access to see the country's top secrets, media reports said on Wednesday.
The decision made by White House chief of staff John Kelly came as the Trump administration struggles with claims of intelligence leaks.
Kushner, along with other White House officials who had been operating on interim clearances, had their access altered last week after Kelly stipulated new changes to the security clearance system, Politico and other media outlets reported.
The security clearance of 37-year-old Kushner, who is also Trump's senior adviser, was downgraded after months of delays in completing his background check, the reports said.
Kushner, who is married to Trump's eldest daughter Ivanka, had access to the President's Daily Brief, a secret intelligence report.
Kushner was notified of the downgrade in a memo last Friday, the reports said.
Kushner and the aides previously held what is known as 'Top Secret/SCI-level' clearances, which provided them with unfettered access to classified information and some of the country's most guarded secrets.
Despite the clearance downgrade, the president has the unilateral authority to share classified information as he sees fit, including with his son-in-law.
Kushner and his wife Ivanka have enjoyed a special status within the White House as both family members are assistants to the president.
Kushner recently has embraced a lower profile as more questions have been raised about his interactions with foreign officials and about his financial entanglements.
The White House did not immediately comment on the memo on downgrading the security clearance to Kushner.
"We do not comment on individual security clearances. We actually haven't commented on Jared's. But we have commented on his ability to do his job, which he's a valued member of the team, and he will continue to do the important work that he's been doing since he started in the administration," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.
According to Politico, Kushner's security level has been downgraded from the top secret to secret level.
Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Kushner, said that he "has done more than what is expected of him in this process."
The changes would "not affect Mr Kushner's ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the president."
Kushner is currently in charge of the vexed Middle East peace process.
The decision to reduce Kushner's access to classified information was made after John F Kelly, the White House chief of staff, announced plans to overhaul the security clearance process at the White House. Last week, Kelly in a statement has said that Kushner would be able to continue his work unabated.