A White House whistleblower told lawmakers that more than two dozen denials for security clearances have been overturned during the Trump administration, calling Congress her “last hope” for addressing what she considers improper conduct that has left the nation’s secrets exposed.
Tricia Newbold, a longtime White House security adviser, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that she and her colleagues issued “dozens” of denials for security clearance applications that were later approved despite their concerns about blackmail, foreign influence or other red flags, according to panel documents released Monday.
Newbold, an 18-year veteran of the security clearance process who has served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, said she warned her superiors that clearances “were not always adjudicated in the best interest of national security” — and was retaliated against for doing so.
Newbold’s allegations intensify pressure on the White House over its handling of security clearances, a controversy that burst into public view last year with the revelation that dozens of staffers had temporary approvals to access sensitive government information while they awaited clearance approval.
Among them was presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner, who President Trump ultimately demanded be granted a permanent top-secret clearance, despite the concerns of intelligence officials.