Rob Porter case prompts questions about White House security clearances

February 13, 2018 - 6:24 am

Fallout continues in the case of Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary whose two ex-wives accuse him of physical abuse. 

Porter had not obtained permanent security clearance, even though he had served the administration for a full year. The story is prompting people to ask why there is a backlog of clearance investigations that have yet to be finished. The president's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has yet to receive clearance.

The Washington Examiner reports that dozens of Trump administration officials continue to wait for security clearances.

Former FBI agent Michael Tabman of Kansas City has experience in processing White House security clearances. During his time with the bureau, one had clearance or one did not, Tabman told KMBZ. 

"They may grant them contingency clearance upon completing that there's nothing indicating anything wrong," Tabman said. "Of course I've never been involved in that sort of contingent clearance; I've never seen it done."

Mere allegations are enough for a person to be denied security clearance.

If I was going to apply for the FBI and several ex-girlfriends said I beat them, and I was never prosecuted, they might just say this is not the kind of person we're looking for," Tabman said. "Same thing with the White House."

The Trump administration says any changes in how security investigations are handled would be up to the FBI and intelligence agencies.

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