A large piece of dynamite went off last week in the Trump White House security clearance scandal. Tricia Newbold of the White House Personnel Security Office sat down with the House Oversight and Reform Committee for an interview, according to new reports today from several major news outlets. Her testimony appears to have been quite compelling.
According to Ms. Newbold, as many as twenty-five top Trump administration officials were ultimately given security clearances, even after they’d initially been rejected for such things as foreign influence, conflicts of interest, personal conduct, financial problems, drug use, and criminal conduct precluding their initial clearances. Ms. Newbold said that she could not sit back and allow issues that could “impact national security” to go unaddressed. Think about that for a second.
These are twenty-five people who could, either knowingly or unknowingly share information with U.S. enemies, and who were forcibly given clearance. They now have access to top secret information, which, if it lands in the wrong hands, could potentially impact and devastate millions of Americans. We can’t sit quietly by while secrets impacting our very existence are being placed in the wrong hands. When you consider the sheer magnitude of these actions, it is quite frightening to say the least. Newbold was apparently bothered by these same possibilities and decided to come forward after her complaints were swept under the carpet.
Coming forward to the Committee after receiving no help from her office, Newbold shared that bringing the matter to the attention of Congress was her “last hope to bring integrity” back to her office. Newbold prepared a memo to Congress stating that: “I do not see a way forward positively in our office without coming to an external entity … And I want it known that this is a systematic, it’s an office issue, and we’re not a political office, but these decisions were being continuously overrode.” The bulk of Ms. Newbold’s complaints center around Carl Kline, the former Personnel Security Chief of the White House, and she has a list of the people who were initially denied clearance, which we can assume she has shared with Congress. The White House also attempted to block Ms. Newbold from speaking with Congress, but she said that “other whistleblowers have corroborated” her allegations.
The Trump administration will go down as the single most corrupt administration the country has ever seen. Watergate was bad, but this goes beyond merely breaking into your opposition’s office. This is exposing the United States and its people to danger at the hands of foreign enemies. While Nixon was driven by vindictiveness, as is Trump, he pales in comparison to the dangers presented by the Trump “presidency.”