Donald Trump’s team has been asking around about the possibility of securing top-secret security clearance for his children, according to CBS News. Although a transition official has denied the claim, multiple news outlets are reporting that Trump would like security clearances for each of his adult children, as well as his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
Under current rules, only official government employees and some government contractors are allowed to receive clearance. None of Trump’s children currently fit that criteria, though Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., as well as Kushner, have played active roles in Trump’s transition team.
And there are other obstacles, namely strict rules regarding nepotism that would make it almost impossible for the kids to have official roles in Trump’s government. That, and the fact that Trump has said that his children will helm his business empire in order to avoid any potential conflict of interest when he is president (though that makes no sense).
It now appears that Trump’s children will try to work as unofficial — and unpaid, in order to skirt the rules against nepotism — policy advisers to their dad while also taking control of his business concerns.
While the current White House might resist granting them clearance, as CBS points out, the decision will be wholly up to Trump when he takes office in January.
It goes without saying that this arrangement would be unprecedented, and obviously ripe for conflicts of interest and corruption. Still, at least one former Trump critic has already spoken out in favor of the arrangement. Illinois representative Adam Kinzinger has said that he is “not going to question it.”
“There’s a lot of people, by the way, in the country that have top-secret security clearance,” he explained to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “It’s a level that you have to go through some intense background, but that’s different than what would be considered basically presidential-level security, and I’m not sure what that’s called or that classification. But basically you’re exposed to anything the president has, versus just top secret.”
Now, why isn’t that more comforting?