Whistleblower: White House Overturned 25 Security Clearance Denials

A whistleblower from inside the White House has informed Congress that on at least 25 occasions, the White House overrode security clearance rejections — going against expert advice.

Tricia Newbold’s testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee is just the latest in a series of revelations suggesting that some of the people working closely with the president were identified as security risks but offered clearance anyway.

Newbold works in the Personnel Security Office and has an 18-year career spanning Democratic and Republican administrations. Career staffers like Newbold do a tremendous amount of administrative work around the White House, and they have highly unique and specific talents that make them valuable during administration changes. Their work serves the larger needs of the country, as well as the president in office.

Newbold has been part of the team tasked with evaluating people who need security clearance to access certain information or areas of the White House. These employees conduct extensive research to learn as much as possible about their subjects, and they identify areas of potential concern.

According to Newbold, on multiple occasions they found conflicts, including foreign influence, blackmail risks, financial red flags and histories of suspect or criminal conduct. When she raised these issues, she said her supervisor overrode her. And she faced retaliation, including harassment on the basis of her dwarfism. Staffers would place items out of her reach and make derogatory comments, leading her to file an EEOC complaint.

Congress became the most appropriate venue for Newbold to express her concerns after she exhausted complaints with a variety of people in the human resources chain. While the president does have final sign-off on security clearances, it has long been the practice to evaluate anyone who might be granted access to sensitive information. Even if they’re a friend or family member of the president, they are subjected to scrutiny in the interest of national security.

Among those who received clearances when they shouldn’t are at least two senior officials, Newbold said. Congress asked the White House for details on the security clearances of Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and John Bolton, suggesting elected officials have some concerns about irregularities with their application and evaluation process. Newbold also said other agencies questioned the suspect clearances, implying that they also had doubts about the people the White House was rubber stamping.

Republicans have been quick to claim this investigation is partisan in nature while undermining Newbold’s authority — showing their usual degree of loyalty to party over country. People with high-level clearances can access information that could be extremely damaging in the wrong hands, which is why such care is taken with evaluating their applications. Republicans certainly would have been concerned if the Obama or Clinton administrations overrode expert advice and granted security clearances to people with conflicts of interest, foreign ties, financial issues and other pressures that could make them national security risks.

Members of Congress will continue to investigate this situation, along with other elements of possible corruption in the White House. While details may remain sealed for security reasons, it’s likely at least broad strokes will be made available for review to serve the public interest.

Photo credit: narvikk/Getty Images


Paul B
Paul B3 months ago

Susanne, you rely way too much on these leftist fact checker graders. Dismissing information purely on a speculation of bias by organizations who get paid to "grade" any right leaning site as biased and fake means you miss a lot of what your left media fails to tell you, like the impending indictments of many former FB I and DOJ officials. Did you see where Obama's attorney was arrested for the came thing as Manafort?
You should try to find facts that dispute information, not just automatically assume that since some site labels them biased that everything they produce is fake... it really doesn't work that way in reality.
I know we have discussed this before, but you also have to understand how these "graders" cherry pick data. they can't rate every statement, so they pick samples, and of course they pick samples that can by subjectively interpreted as fake or partially fake, or whatever rating stat you posted earlier. I could cherry pick ANY media outlet the same way and get similar results. Look to the facts, and quit dismissing info just because some site says they are "dubious." Likely they are trying to achieve exactly what you have done, dismiss facts due to source and not particularly was is truth.

Magdalen B
Magdalen B3 months ago

Well! What a surprise!

Leo Custer
Leo Custer3 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Susanne R
Susanne R3 months ago

David F. - Thanks for sharing, I think. I visited your source, American Thinker, and was repulsed by its content. So I googled it, and here's what I came up with:

Overall, we rate the American Thinker, Questionable based on extreme right wing bias, promotion of conspiracy theories/pseudoscience, use of poor sources and failed fact checks:
Fake News 22.35% (116 votes)
Credible Source 22.35% (116 votes)
Propaganda 21.97% (114 votes)
Extreme Bias 20.62% (107 votes)
Poor Sourcing 12.72% (66 votes)
Unless my calculations are wrong, 77.66% of the votes are unfavorable.

Now I can see why you're always providing YouTube links. The American Thinker does, too. Incidentally, I couldn't find any specific article (although I blocked the site from noting my location) even using their "search" mechanism. Could you provide a specific link to the article that would support your allegations?

David F
David F3 months ago

Danuta, Anna, Janis, your welcom;-)

Danuta W
Danuta Watola3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Anna R
Alice R3 months ago

thank you for sharing

Janis K
Janis K3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Debbi W
Debbi W3 months ago

The president should not have the tpower to overturn security clearances. trump acts like a dictator and doesn't respect our law nor our constitution. He needs to be booted out and sent to prison as an American terrorist.

David F
David F3 months ago

Proves how dishonest the entrenched Deep State is.

The previous administrations top eight traitors and Deep State leaders have been referred for criminal prosecution this week.