Cummings Requests Documents After President’s Personal Assistant Fired for Security Reasons
Cummings Requests Documents After President’s
Personal Assistant Fired for Security Reasons
Washington, D.C. (Mar. 13, 2018) – Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly requesting documents relating to John McEntee, President Trump’s personal assistant, who was fired and immediately rushed out of the White House yesterday because of an unspecific security issue, according to multiple press reports.
“I have been warning for more than a year about the White House’s deficient background check process—as well as specific officials who have been granted access to our nation’s most closely guarded secrets despite derogatory information known to White House officials—but you have stonewalled congressional oversight efforts and refused to provide any documents requested by me or Chairman Trey Gowdy,” Cummings wrote.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. McEntee, a close, long-serving aide to President Trump who was “a constant presence at Mr. Trump’s side for the past three years,” “was removed from the White House grounds on Monday afternoon without being allowed to collect his belongings,” and he “left without his jacket.” Mr. McEntee reportedly “indicated to colleagues that it was an issue in his background.”
“This recent report about President Trump’s personal assistant is just the latest indication that the process for vetting White House employees for security issues is seriously flawed,” Cummings wrote. “The White House’s ongoing obstruction of congressional oversight appears to be an attempt to conceal from the American people pervasive and widespread dysfunction inside the White House, which directly threatens our nation’s security.”
In today’s letter, Cummings explained that Kelly has admitted publicly that he is in possession of information that Cummings has requested; that his review of the White House’s security clearance process revealed “a couple spreadsheets worth of people” at the White House who maintained interim security clearances nine months into President Trump’s tenure; and that at least 35 officials were inappropriately given top secret clearances.
Cummings requested that Kelly produce, by March 27, 2018, Mr. McEntee’s SF-86 application; all documents he was required to complete as a condition of White House employment; the FBI’s final investigative report on Mr. McEntee and any findings about him; any information about the White House’s vetting of Mr. McEntee; documents showing all White House employees who have been granted interim security clearances since the 2016 election; and information about any White House official who resigned or was terminated due to a criminal investigation, failure or inability to obtain a security clearance, or any other reason.
Click here to read today’s letter.