Kushner and his wife, the US president’s eldest daughter Ivanka, have been serving as close advisers to the president.
Kushner has a broad portfolio at the White House. He led the US president’s plan to forge a peace deal in the Middle East and the Office of American Innovation which intends to modernize and downsize government programmes.
The wealthy New York businessman has lost his access to the President’s Daily Brief (known as the PDB), includes highly classified intelligence analysis, information about covert operations run by the CIA and reports from the most sensitive US sources and those shared by allied intelligence agencies.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said that the loss of his security clearance would not affect Kushner’s “ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President”, his lawyer, Abbe Lowell, said.
For the last year, Kushner had been operating under an interim security clearance but has seen his access to highly classified briefings cut off over the last few weeks.
According to reports, his full security clearance has been delayed as a result of his extensive financial links, which have taken time to examine.
Phone calls and emails seeking comment from a White House spokesperson for Kushner were not immediately returned. He has had to revise his security clearance form several times.
Kushner’s lawyer Lowell, in a statement, said that his client had more than complied with what was asked of him and that he was not the only high-level person whose security clearance has been delayed.
“Mr. Kushner has done more than what is expected of him in this process.
“My inquiries … have confirmed that there are a dozen or more people at Mr. Kushner’s level whose process is delayed, that it is not uncommon for this process to take this long in a new administration, that the current backlogs are being addressed, and no concerns were raised about Mr. Kushner’s application,” Lowell said.
The President on Friday said that he would leave it to his Chief of Staff to settle his son-in-law’s security clearance dispute, but intimated that he wanted it settled in a manner which would allow Kushner to retain his job. The president, by virtue of his position, could grant his son-in-law full security clearance on his own authority.