White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, under pressure over his handling of allegations of domestic abuse against a top aide, approved an overhaul of how the White House manages security-clearance investigations on Friday, acknowledging missteps but putting the onus on the FBI and the Justice Department to now hand-deliver updates and provide more information.
The five pages of proposed changes, signed by Kelly, was obtained by The Washington Post.
Kelly worked closely with White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn in discussing and outlining the changes, according to officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly. McGahn has also been criticized for his response to former White House aide Rob Porter’s clearance. Porter, who resigned last week, remained as staff secretary, with access to highly classified material, months after the claims of emotional and physical abuse by his two ex-wives were reported to the FBI.
Kelly begins the memo by stating that in the wake of the Porter scandal, “We should — and in the future, must — do better” and acknowledges that problems in the security-clearance process demanded attention.