Trump ordered Kushner's security clearance: Report

The New York Times reports that the president intervened in clearing his son-in-law and adviser.
5:08 | 03/01/19

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Transcript for Trump ordered Kushner's security clearance: Report
We want to move now to Washington where president Trump's son in law Jared Kushner is facing new questions after the New York Times reported that president from. Ordered Kushner to get a security clearance despite concerns and objections. From his own intelligence officials the New York Times has laid all of this out and it contradicts what. The president and Jared Kushner his wife Yvonne could trump have said in the past. Your new I don't think I have the authority to do that I maturity. But I would I would I wouldn't I wouldn't do it. There are a lot of people to question whether you are given special treatment by the president's overriding other. Absolutely officials can you speak to that there are anonymous leaks. About there being issues that. The president had no involvement in pertaining to my clearance and my husband's Clinton's zero. The bunker trump saying the president had no involvement alive by this new report in the New York Times. That says in fact the president did. Override his intelligence officials to make sure that Jared Kushner had security clearance and for more we're joined by Jon Cohen and ABC news contributor. Formally the Department of Homeland Security where John you ran these kinds of clearance investigations. Is this unusual that the president would get involved like this. It's highly unusual there are. And let's take a step back first second the security clearance process is not just some. Administrative procedure it is a critical part of our nation's efforts to protect protect our most sensitive secrets. And people who are provided top secret clearances like the ones. That Jared Kushner would have been provided. There are subject to a rigorous background investigation and there is investigators are looking for any indication. That the person whose roots who is receiving the Clarence quote safeguard the national secrets. And as importantly. They're looking for any type of information. That would suggest that there's a potential that they have or could can't be potentially compromised. By a foreign intelligence service so it it's highly unusual. Once the security officials. Have made a determination. That a person should be denied a security clearance. For the president of the United States override that decision in Korea the clearance to a person has been deemed high risk. But in theory John can't the president. Give a clearance to whoever he wants or at least have the material that he wants that person to view declassified. Absolutely the president the United States is the ultimate authority has the right to overrule the the security off officials who who made the determination that a current shouldn't be provided and a president quite frankly have the right to hire. Anyone he wants to advise him but just because the present how the authority. Two override the determination of the security official doesn't mean from a national security perspective it's the right didn't dip. And there will be there are real concerns that by creating a clearance to somebody who has been deemed higher risk. That you are elevating the risk that our national secrets could be disclosed. But there's another problem. And the problem is that because. Somebody he's been deemed higher risk of being given a Clarence. People within our own intelligence community or representatives from foreign intelligence service as may be less willing to share. Sensitive intelligence with the White House because they fear the bad information will be displaced. John do we have any sense as to what intelligence officials were concerned about when it came to to getting Jared Kushner the clearance that the president wanted to. While relying only on public reporting. One of the issues and I'm sure. That concern them is that during the background process. There were Jarrett had two who had to resubmit. Or were followed a revised his. Background packet. Which means that he failed to provide information and ten during the background investigation flat. Investigators are looking are two things. Is there anything in the person's background. That would suggest that they have an usual relationships. That they have ten US financial ties there were involved in illegal activity. Or they wore involved in. Other types of behavior that would make them that would cause question about whether they would. Adequately safeguard the tarot. But what they're also looking for an honesty. And one of the number one way that a foreign intelligence service well. Recruit an individual is defined as something that they're they're keeping secrets funding that they perhaps haven't disclosed on their background investigation form. They will then threatened to disclose that information. Causing embarrassment to the person and you that is the way to get the person you to provide them sensitive information or to do other things on behalf but I intelligence. Organization. Jon Cohen and ABC news contributor formally of the Department of Homeland Security John thanks for your insight as congress now especially the democratic majority is prepared. In the house to take a look at this issue of security clearance. For Jared Kushner.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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