The White House chief-of-staff told confidants in recent weeks that he had decided to fire anyone who had been denied a clearance — but had yet to act on that plan before the Porter allegations were first reported this week…

“He knew it was a problem having people who would never be granted permanent clearances and he was preparing to deal with it. And this blew up in his face,” said a senior administration official familiar with Kelly’s plans.

Interim security clearances are granted by the federal government on a temporary basis while the FBI conducts a broad investigation as a part of the regular clearance process. That process includes interviews with an applicants’ friends, colleagues, and spouses, as well as with the applicant himself.