Politics

Republicans Cast Doubt On White House Security Clearance Whistleblower

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

GOP lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee are casting doubt on a White House whistleblower in a Monday morning memorandum, alleging that nearly two dozen White House aides were given security clearances despite initially being denied.

Democratic staff revealed Monday morning that the whistleblower noted that 25 people, including senior White House aides, were given clearance despite having it rejected by career staffers. The whistleblower, Tricia Newbold, is a manager in the White House personnel office.

Senior Adviser to the President and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) listens as President Donald Trump (2nd L) meets with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senior Adviser to the President and son-in-law Jared Kushner (R) listens as President Donald Trump (2nd L) meets with Hispanic pastors at the Roosevelt Room of the White House January 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“I know that this will not be perceived in favor of my intentions, which is to bring back the integrity of the office,” she said, according to a summary provided by the House Oversight Committee.

GOP lawmakers responded in a Monday afternoon memo that “Ms. Newbold provided testimony that the Democrats are misusing to manufacture a misleading narrative that the Trump White House is reckless with our national security,” adding that, “The Democrats are inclined to use some information from the transcribed interview to embarrass senior White House officials. Ms. Newbold’s testimony discussed two officials with specificity, who the Democrats labeled as “Senior White House Official 1” and “Senior White House Official 2.”

The memo continued, “In reality, however, Ms. Newbold provided little direct knowledge about the reasons for why Senior White House Official 1’s and Senior White House Official 2’s security clearances were granted over her recommendations. Her testimony focused on a series of personnel and workplace complaints that suggest she is unhappy and dissatisfied in her office.”

White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive for the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump arrive for the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

The GOP memo offered detailed pushback on Newbold’s assertions, saying she “had limited firsthand knowledge” on the most high-profile cases about which she was alleging misdeeds and that, in some cases, she had “no direct knowledge” as to why some determinations were made.

Clearance questions have dogged the White House in the past with reports that Trump himself overruled advisers and granted Jared Kushner a security clearance despite objections. Questions over clearance also trailed the White House after abuse allegations surfaced against staff secretary Rob Porter. (RELATED: White House Staff Secretary Resigns)