Photo: Associated Press

I’m going to hedge a guess and say it’s probably a good thing that Jared Kushner’s security clearance was recently downgraded, because it sure looks like foreign officials are trying to exploit and manipulate his access to the president and business relationships abroad.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday evening that officials in at least four countries—including China, Mexico, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates—have “privately discussed ways they can manipulate [Kushner] by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience.”

Advertisement

From the Post:

It is unclear if any of those countries acted on the discussions, but Kushner’s contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns inside the White House and are a reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance, the officials said.

Kushner’s interim security clearance was downgraded last week from the top-secret to the secret level, which should restrict the regular access he has had to highly classified information, according to administration officials.

Advertisement

It’s certainly not the first time this type of leak has occurred. Reports have circulated for months that other countries, including China, have attempted to leverage Kushner’s personal relationships to access sensitive information about the American government and lobby for projects in their interest.

Democrats in Congress have been asking the government for months why Kushner had any level of security clearance at all, given the number of times he has omitted pertinent information from his clearance forms. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster—himself apparently in jeopardy in Trump’s administration—has also reportedly raised concerns that Kushner maintains relationships with foreign nationals that he has not reported to the National Security Council.