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#FireKushner Surges After NYT Reports Trump Ordered Security Clearance for Son-in-Law

"The president probably could not receive a security clearance if he was not the president."

Jared Kushner, senior advisor to President Donald J. Trump, sits in on a meeting with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at the Ministry of Defense in Baghdad, Iraq, April 3, 2017. (Photo: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro, via Flickr @thejointstaff).

The fallout from a Thursday revelation in The New York Times that President Donald Trump personally intervened to give his son-in-law Jared Kushner a security clearance has some calling for Kushner to be fired. 

"Jared Kushner was identified as a national security risk and deemed unworthy of receiving top-secret security clearance yet President Trump insisted that his son-in-law be given the clearance," said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. "If the President will go so far as to ignore accepted norms and put the security of our nation at risk then Congress must pass legislation to check presidential discretion on security clearances."

The #FireKushner hashtag was trending on Twitter Friday morning as a number of commentators called for Kushner—a White House senior advisor—to either resign voluntarily or be removed from his position. 

Reporters chimed in on social media, explaining how Kushner's history of problematic issues with clearance might contribute to the storm of scandals around the president and the White House.

Despite the growing chorus of anger over Kushner's position of power within the White House, it's unlikely that the president will remove his son-in-law from the administration. Kushner has proven resilient in the face of two years of sustained criticism over his role in the West Wing and the president's reported intervention on his behalf does not indicate a willingness from Trump to discard his son-in-law. 

Still, Kushner's level of clearance has been a source of contention in the White House since Trump took office—and, as the Times reports, the concern over Kushner's access to secret materials is longstanding on the part of intelligence services. 

The full scope of intelligence officials' concerns about Mr. Kushner is not known. But the clearance had been held up in part over questions from the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. about his foreign and business contacts, including those related to Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, according to multiple people familiar with the events.

The Times also reported that Trump's decision was opposed by both White House Counsel Don McGann and then-Chief of Staff John Kelly. 

Congressional Democrats expressed outrage over the president's unilateral decision to grant Kushner security clearance and said they'd hold hearings to find out more about the president's decision making process. 

It's unclear what, if anything, can be done about Kushner's clearance—but one thing's for sure: there's no sign of the scandals surrounding the administration going away any time soon.

This article was updated with comment from Common Cause.

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