Kushner mocked after security clearance downgraded
WATCH Kushner security clearance downgraded
Late-night comedians had reason to celebrate on Tuesday after the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, lost his top-secret security clearance as part of a West Wing overhaul.
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White House Chief of Staff John Kelly downgraded Kushner's clearance to "secret," effective last Friday, stripping him of his ability to access the nation’s most sensitive intelligence, sources told ABC News on Tuesday.
Kushner, who's spent most of his time in the White House focusing on the Middle East peace progress, declined to confirm or deny the reports when asked Tuesday, but that didn't stop late-night hosts from pretending to be concerned.
TONIGHT: The President's closest confidants were in the crosshairs today, with Hope Hicks giving testimony about Russia and Jared Kushner losing his top secret security clearance. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/MAKzS9bRlX
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) February 28, 2018
"The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert, who once criticized Kushner as being "unqualified" to be in charge of "really important stuff" in the White House, downplayed the news in his monologue.
It basically means that "Kushner will have access to only nine herbs and spices," he said, referring to the famous 11-ingredient KFC recipe. "Of course the last two are salt and fried salt."
"How will he fix the Middle East now?" Colbert added. "He was so close to starting."
Over on "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah used the news as a chance to take a swipe at the president's controversial Twitter habits.
Jared Kushner loses his top secret security clearance and Trump makes a “shock announcement.” https://t.co/fXvKRqChtl
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) February 28, 2018
"Oh, that sucks," Noah said, after sharing the report with his audience. "Now Kushner will have to learn about the nation's most-sensitive secrets just like the rest of us, and wait for Trump to tweet them."
"It has to be so humiliating for Kushner to have top-level clearance for a year and then you lose it. That never happens," Noah added.
The White House would not comment on the record, but Trump said last week that any changes to Kushner’s status would be up to Kelly.
"General Kelly respects Jared a lot, and General Kelly will make that call," Trump told reporters at an afternoon press conference on Friday. "I will let General Kelly make that decision. And he's going to do what's right for the country, and I have no doubt he will make the right decision."