Last Friday, several members of the collapsing Donald Trump administration resigned for various reasons. One of them, Rob Porter, quit when past accusations of spousal abuse became public. Porter couldn’t get the proper security clearance because of his past, and Trump and his White House were trying to keep Porter on the job partly because they were afraid the security clearance scandal would grow much wider if it became public knowledge. Sure enough, their worst fears are playing out in the form of yet another key resignation.
George David Banks is a senior official at the White House National Economic Council, or at least he was until he resigned today. The reason: he couldn’t get permanent security clearance due to something in his background (link). We don’t know what specifically disqualified this guy, but he’s now the third person to resign from the Trump administration over security clearance concerns in the past few days. The next to go could be someone much more prominent.
As best anyone can tell, Trump and his White House were trying to keep the security clearance problems from becoming a public scandal because Trump’s own daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner haven’t been able to get permanent security clearance either. Kushner had multiple suspicious meetings with the Russians, then lied about all of them on his clearance forms, a felony. Ivanka failed to list her husband’s meetings on her security clearance forms as well.
Prominent members of Congress are already calling for Jared Kushner’s resignation, and it’s going to become increasingly difficult for Donald Trump and his White House to justify keeping Kushner on the job when so many other people are resigning over security clearance issues that weren’t as big of deals from a national security standpoint. The question now is whether Kushner ends up resigning from the White House in the hope of taking heat off Ivanka. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report