Kelly Orders Overhaul Of Security Clearance Process

The New York Times reports:

John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, ordered an overhaul of the process for granting security clearances, acknowledging that mistakes and shortcomings were exposed by the handling of marital abuse allegations against one of President Trump’s top aides.

In a five-page memo distributed Friday afternoon to White House staff, Mr. Kelly suggested that there were serious shortcomings with the system for vetting top-level officials with access to the United States’ most closely guarded secrets.

“We should — and, in the future, must — do better,” Mr. Kelly wrote in a document addressed to senior White House officials and copied to the directors of the country’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies. The Washington Post first reported the existence of the memo.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    serious shortcomings “with the system”?

    No. Serious shortcomings with the perps.

    • RaygunsGoZap

      With OUR INTERNAL SYSTEM (overseen by me)….

      General, what’s the strategy of having people without proper clearance accessing our most secret information? Why are those people allowed to also use private email servers?

      • Lumpy Gaga

        ObRainMan: “I’m an excellent vetter.”

    • Uncle Mark

      Would this excuse be acceptable in the military Gen Kelly? Why has this been acceptable now at the top of the Command Chain?

  • FAEN

    Resign Nazi asshole!

    • Judas Peckerwood

      You’re going to have to be more specific.

      • FAEN

        LOL-ain’t that the truth.

  • Joe in PA

    So, let me know when Jared and Ivanka are out…k?

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “System works here.”

    — R. Mueller

    • Joe in PA

      You can bet all of Mueller’s team have clearances.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Preet B. tweeted exactly that this week. Hence the ref.

        • Joe in PA

          LOL, I was going to paraphrase his tweet but couldn’t remember where I saw it. 🙂 Thanks.

      • Robincho

        It’s weird. Mueller’s operation is hermetically sealed, yet Dump’s operation is like the love-child of a sieve and a colander…

        • Joe in PA

          Ain’t that the truth. From the very first indictment. Amazing.

        • lymis

          The love child of a sieve and a colander that’s repeatedly subject to having additional holes shot into it with high-powered ammunition. Self-inflicted.

        • McSwagg

          dRUMPf’s syndicate leaks more than a screen door on a submarine.

  • Treant

    So they’ll make it easier and whoever a Republican “president” recommends gets it? Dems get different rules, of course.

    OT: Well, off to my husband’s birthday dinner. He requested the DVDs of all the seasons of Gilligan’s Island.

    God help me. And it’s going to snow tomorrow night, so I’m stuck here on Sunday listening to the theme. If anybody read Chalker’s Dancing Gods series, he’s like Macore. He can recite all the plots chapter and verse.

    • Frostbite

      Lol. I just re-read Soul Rider for the first time in 20something years…

    • Chuck in NYC

      Yup. My knee jerk reaction was “…to make it easier.”

    • Joe in PA

      Hey, it could have been “Green Acres”. You’d be singing that song for months!

      • Treant

        Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

        I always sing, “Just lay right back and you’ll feel a prick…”

        • Joe in PA

          Of course you do. 🙂

        • RaygunsGoZap

          Fateful even!

      • Lumpy Gaga

        I’ve been singing it for years. Never stopped.

        • Joe in PA

          I’m sorry. 🙂

          Years ago when we moved from the “big city” to the “farm” our oh-so-clever neighbors gave us (as a going away gift) this cookie jar shaped like a barn and silo. It played the theme from Green Acres. Our friend had to outbid someone on eBay whose name was “Tractor Nut”.

          Our neighbors thought we had lost our minds. Two gay guys in the country. Ha!

      • anne marie in philly

        or “the brady bunch”

      • lymis

        Fun fact. You can swap out the tunes and lyrics of Gilligan’s Island , Amazing Grace and House of the Rising Sun interchangeably and sing any of them to the tune of the other.

    • RaygunsGoZap

      Be Like Bacchus!

      • Treant

        Drunk and semi-coherent? I can do that.

    • boobert

      La La Boobala ! And if you know that reference, you’re as disturbed as me , lol !

    • boobert

      Imagine if Jayne Mansfield had gotten the movie star part as planned ! lol

    • Lumpy Gaga

      ObMST3K/Gilligan’sTheme: “What’s this ‘and the rest’ crap?”

    • LeeCMH

      Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

    • kanehau

      What’s a “DVD”?

    • jim

      Sometimes politics depress me. But the thought of all episodes of Gilligan is, well, let’s just say I feel better. 🙂

    • Uncle Mark

      I’m reminded of the old Sylvia cartoons when she’s offering a “would you rather…” suffer some horrible, bizarre torture or “watch an afternoon of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c22cbb4b65decd69b8340ced68fe27a50b93c14941ba0073b2e579e90756419e.jpg

  • Chucktech

    So, just couldn’t do security like Obama (and every previous president) has done it, huh?

    So glad you’re doing SOMEthing…

  • Funny how the Obama administration had none of these problems, isn’t it? MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T PUT CROOKS IN PLACE.

  • Andymac3

    Hey John, how about adding a check box for Nazi affiliations and White Supremacy membership too, and you know, Russian connections.

  • another_steve

    John Kelly is perhaps the worst Chief of Staff in American history. A total loser-lackey.

    We Americans were bamboozled into believing that he’d bring order and decorum to the Trump White House.

    We’re so gullible and dumb.

    • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

      But he has shiny medals! Just like Sheriff Clarke!

      • another_steve

        Lol. Yes. 😉

        What we’ve all learned, a year into the horror that is this Trump (illegitimate) presidency, is that there are no honorable Republicans anymore. There used to be, but no more.

        If you go to work for Donald Trump, you are the scum of the earth.

        No exceptions.

        • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

          If you don’t actively oppose Trump you are complicit, just like the ‘good Germans’ who said nothing against Hitler.

    • Dramphooey

      First sentence and the rest, yes. Second sentence, no. He’s no lackey. So far all we’ve managed to boot are lackeys. This is one evil SOB, just like Stephen Miller. That wife beater may be the first one of the true fascists we’ve managed to evict but other than him all we’ve managed to toss were clowns and morons.

  • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

    If they had received security clearances, then there might be a problem with the system. The fact that they couldn’t qualify proves the system works.

    • Gerry Fisher

      this

  • Guy Johnson

    So he finally got of his lazy ass to do something.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Uh huh, how bout start with giving Unsecured Jared his walking papers

    • RaygunsGoZap

      Private Email, Billion Dollar Debt Jared? Or the coffee boy Jared?

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Coffee by Jared.

  • Joe in PA

    I wish he would have been a bit more specific…he can’t change the way the FBI does security clearances, only the procedures within the WH.

    Meaningless BS babble.

  • Devon Rodriguez
    • Lumpy Gaga

      One of the essays in John Waters’ 2nd-to-last book pointed out that Little Richard turned out to be an asshole, and Johnny Mathis turned out to be cool as fuck.

      Just goes to show.

      • thatotherjean

        Little Richard turned out to be an asshole? Damn.

    • boobert

      My favorite song of unrequited love ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcPiip-xkyw

  • Those ‘shortcomings’ consist of failing to vet and background check people BEFORE hiring them for top-level WH jobs. And failing to fire anyone who cannot pass a security clearance check required for those jobs.

    • billbear1961

      They won’t be held accountable. THAT is the PROBLEM!

      The corporate media don’t care–not when this happens in a GOP administration–and the spineless Democrats? What happened to their insistence that Nunes leave the HIC? They are USELESS! They fight for NOTHING! One angry speech or tweet, followed by SILENCE!

      • LesbianTippingHabits


        Not to mention the now-woman whom Nunes tried to date as an awkward adolescent in junior high school . . . .

    • Gerry Fisher

      Ohhhh, you make it sound so *simple*!

  • Sam_Handwich

    i thought he might cut and run today

    • Dramphooey

      No. It occurred to me today we’re only going to drag him out of there in handcuffs. He’s one of the really evil ones that want to destroy the country. This ain’t about making money or being a big shot. They want to USA remade and they know this is their only shot.

  • safari

    How about we kick out Kushner? That should be point one.

  • Mr. Ric

    Committing treason might also be a reason to deny clearance. Just throwing it out there.

    • billbear1961

      Not if you’re a Republican!

  • Bluto

    Too bad kelly, in accordance with the gop rule book you must resign.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      “The buck stops with my immediate subordinate.”

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Traitorsayswhat?

  • safari
    • Oh goody.

    • Leo

      YAY

    • Gigi

      I’d marry Rachel if I was into girls, and she wasn’t. 😉

      • Lumpy Gaga

        You could live out a life of mutual respect and understanding, quiet evenings in Massachusetts, and access to her Jane Street apartment.

      • JCF

        Her “girlfriend Susan” stands in MY way. ;-/

    • billbear1961
  • Gigi

    What’ll the Trump overhaul be, to make it easier for his douchey friends to get a security clearance?

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Security Clearance Reform!!

      • LesbianTippingHabits


        If Russia already knows everything, via Jared Kushner’s back-channel to the Kremlin, security clearances have no meaning.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Yup. All those currently without clearances would have been vetted by now if the requirements hadn’t been so strict.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok
  • Cuberly Deux
  • Leo
    • Oscarlating Wildely

      This, State. Sucks.

    • JackFknTwist

      Russian manipulation of elections; Republican gerrymandering of elections.

      Same same, but different.

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      I’d love to see a cranky federal judge jail Pennsylvania Republicans for filing a frivolous lawsuit and wasting everyone’s time. Sad !

  • When we’re relying on military generals and the spy agencies to save us from the people elected to office, we are one breath away from a junta.

    And I’m not sure if it would be any worse. How fucked up is it when the death of democracy- the overthrow of an elected official by the enforcement arm of the state- would be better than keeping it alive?

    Canada, I hope you’ll let me in when the time comes to run.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      When we’re relying on military generals and the spy agencies to save us
      from the people elected to office, we are one breath away from a junta.

      Preach. Half the reason Kelly’s hanging on so hard is that he wants to be top dog when we go martial law.

    • Lars Littlefield

      We’re running to Mexico. I have a good connection with a friend who has family there.

      • Nice place. I’ve always loved Mexican culture. Good people.

  • billbear1961

    YOU and your corrupt pals are the problem, LIAR.

    • Gigi

      Imagine the outrage if Obama had this many people in the WH who couldn’t get security clearances, and we black.

      • LesbianTippingHabits


        The real issue the media is ignoring is the documented fact that John Kelly is very compassionate – but only to other white men.

        Disagree? Counter-example, please. Thank you.

  • Mike

    Baloney. There is apparently nothing wrong with the security clearance vetting process. There was never a problem until we got this vile orange pig as president and his dishonorable chief of staff, hiring thugs and criminals and giving them access to government secrets despite their being high risks for blackmail. If Kelly wants reform, the best thing would be for him and his boss to resign.

  • jimbo65

    Sooo, will Jared continue to have access to top secret documents while you’re figuring out this overhaul? Yeah, thought so.

  • billbear1961

    You’ve got NO PROBLEM with wife-beaters unless it becomes PUBLIC knowledge.

    But don’t worry–the only thing that concerns the corporate media is that you and your fellow gangsters aren’t GOOD at lying–not that you lie–the vile, obsequious FUCKERS couldn’t care LESS about THAT–just that you aren’t GOOD at it.

  • Cuberly Deux

    Richard Painter is reeming donnie and the GOP right now….it’s sorta glorious.

  • -M-

    The main problem is the White House (Trump, Kelly, & McGahn) ignoring the vetting, and the fact that there’s no oversight to prevent that.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      When 45 said ‘extreme vetting’ during the campaign, even the hardest cynics could not have predicted what he really meant.

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      There is oversight – Congress. That Congress is incapable of doing its job may be true, but the oversight structure is still there.

      If all Americans of good will, including Colin Kaepernick, register Now and vote in November 2018, well, perhaps the next Congress will grow a pair.

      Thank you.

      • -M-

        Even with a responsibile Congress there’s no automatic oversight of security lapses in the White House, that needs to change. We need a law requiring the IC to notify the appropriate committees if people are kept on after failing to pass a security screening, if the White House is lax about security, or if the President is sharing classified information against their recommendations.

  • billbear1961

    How many secrets have already passed into foreign hands because SCORES of scoundrels without proper clearance–and without scruples or any concern for their country’s security–have had access to them and thought they could make a quick buck selling them, GENERAL??

  • Lars Littlefield

    Yet nowhere in the majestic memo does it address the central issue of vetting only qualified candidates who can actually be vetted.

  • Jerry Kott

    A little late to bring in the Germicide . The rot is to the bone.

  • Dramphooey

    Four more pages than Trump would be willing to read so we can safely assume he’s ignorant of it.

    • RoFaWh

      It’s not so much that Trump won’t read five-page memos, it’s that he can’t read them.

      It may be fair to say that Trump completely lacks any interior intellectual life, so he doesn’t read, and doesn’t quickly transmogrifies into can’t.

  • JWC

    Hells Bells if you were related to or loyal to Trump that met the criteria Rules and laws didn’t matter Now that they have been caught with their pants down “We gotta change” I guess that Bye Bye Jared

  • KaBoomBOX

    The problem isn’t the vetting process, it’s that it is being ignored. People who didn’t pass the background checks continue to have access to sensitive info. It’s only when it was made public that you took it seriously.

  • greenmanTN

    Funny how previous administrations didn’t have this problem with their staff being able to pass a background check. I wonder why that is?

    • Ross

      That is quite a vexing question!

    • RoFaWh

      I’ll explain:

      Trump is like a piece of shit festering in the sun, surrounded by flies. Except that it’s thieves, not flies, that flit around Fat Donnie Two-scoops.

    • thatotherjean

      Trump only trusts the people he knows. He doesn’t know anybody who isn’t a crook.

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      There were issues with the incoming Clinton Administration in 1993.

      https://www.amazon.com/Unlimited-Access-Agent-Inside-Clinton/dp/0895264064/

  • another_steve

    Something lovely now, my JMG friends.

    Matt Alber’s “Ready for Love.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVxi7ilonk8

  • BobSF_94117

    The new process is that people don’t need security clearances. Either that or they start booting the progeny.

  • FelineMama

    Yes suh yes suh master, I will git on this Now. If the Press didn’t mingle & interfere & blab, everything would’ve been cool! WHAT???????

  • greenmanTN

    If it wasn’t for those meddling kids and their dog we would have gotten away with it! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/046135ff754844464e061e5e7af1e1952ea9dac1065af2b496af3e96372e8d36.gif

  • Bambino
    • Helen Damnation™

      (This one gets it right every single time!)

  • Tomcat

    Open Kelly’s closet and you might just find he should not have passed the clearance either.

    • RoFaWh

      Are you perchance a Russian bot trying to further erode Americans’ trust in their government?

  • Hunter M

    So let me guess. You have to have a russian connection in order to get clearance!

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Exactly.

  • 2amor

    “Extreme Vetting” Indeed……

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      Yes. Are you a white male conservative Christian heterosexual?

      If so, you’re in!

  • billbear1961

    The media and the Democrats–and the public–will LET them get away with this. Nothing will be done to hold them accountable for their refusal to do ANYTHING about the ongoing gun massacres, and you think they’ll be held accountable for THIS?!

    This already IS a banana republic.

    This country is a goddamned JOKE!

    You have no leadership and no truly free press, and NOTHING gets you into the streets.

    Stop pretending there is ANYTHING you won’t let them do.

    And SPARE me talk about the goddamned already-compromised MIDTERMS!

    The problem IS the GOP is a fascist party, a party of GANGSTERS; and 35 to 40% of the country is just FINE with that, has no objection, pretends to itself otherwise, or actually WANTS a fascist state. And most in the media don’t give a DAMN about anything but their CAREERS! “Will Trump hit reset with his SOTU?” on the front page of the WASHINGTON POST! And don’t get me started about the NEW YORK TIMES! The media KNOW what’s going on and could stop it, but they WON’T. They could have prevented Trump’s election by doing their jobs, but they DIDN’T!

    “Indictments against Russians accuse no Americans of witting collusion!!!!”

    Every day the majority of these fucking WHORES serve as this regime’s–and the GOP’s–PARROTS on issue after issue, when simply digging into and disseminating the readily available FACTS would reveal EXACTLY how the Trump regime and the GOP are BETRAYING THIS DEMOCRACY!!

  • NowAnAgnostic

    With the idiot-in-chief, this memo will do as much good as “thoughts and prayers.”

  • Boreal

    Or they could have used the Obama clearance protocols.

    • thatotherjean

      But they were full of Obama cooties, and Trump wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole. Besides, none of his appointees could pass them.

  • Ninja0980

    There were no shortcomings in the system other then people in power choosing to ignore red flags on the people they had working for them.

    • Ann Kah

      Deliberate disinterest.

  • TrollopeReader

    As i asked elsewhere … how is the Trump administration different from the last 20+ years of vetting staff? I don’t seem to recall similar problems in other admins (though being more thorough, they made their picks known to the FBI right after election….)

    • LesbianTippingHabits


      In 1992-1993, when the Clinton Administration came in, there were similar issues. Quite similar, in fact.

      https://www.amazon.com/Unlimited-Access-Agent-Inside-Clinton/dp/0895264064/

      • Whataboutism.

        • LesbianTippingHabits


          No, actually, this is a legitimate historical example – yes, from the Clinton Administration – directly addressing TrollopeReader’s precise point.

          Do you remember Zoe Baird? Of the “Zoe Baird problem”?

          In this context, it is not “whataboutism” at all.

  • Galvestonian

    I heard that there are well over 100 White House Staffers that can’t get clearances …
    what does that leave ? Just Trump bumbling around an empty building with the Press Corps, kitchen staff, janitorial and Marine Guards.

    • Helen Damnation™

      Actually, over 130.

  • TrollopeReader

    Could be a tough week ahead for ivanka and jared since they just amended their disclosures for the umpteenth time … and have added debts to deal with….

  • Friday’s_cat

    Junior and Javanka out or is Kelly blowing republican smoke?

    • TrollopeReader

      you wanna tell Trump the kids are fired?!!

      Hoo boyo!!

      🙂

  • thatotherjean

    A year late and god knows how many dollars short. John Kelly is different from the man he serves only in degree, not kind.

  • LesbianTippingHabits


    A five-page memo. No wonder it took more than a week. Sad !

    • Ann Kah

      Now whenever T returns from MaraLago, Kelly has to read it to him, bearing in mind the short attention span of our CinC.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
    • bzrd

      and those weren’t horses coming out of the barn but
      republikkkunt rats thundering forth

  • worstcultever

    National security: just another thing trashed, smashed, and smithereened by the dotard wrecking crew.

  • Tempus Fuggit

    Horse Leaves Barn at High Speed—Details at 11 Twelve Months Ago

  • Gianni

    AND he says all that with a straight face. The absolute shamelessness is amazing. Old expression: A day late and a dollar short. One might also ask, “What the hell are you going to do about Jared? He has not permanent clearance. You’re going to start with him, right?”

  • JCF
  • lymis

    “We should — and, in the future, must — do better,”

    Y’think?

    And come on. MAYBE someone with no previous experience with classified material – like most of the civilians without government experience in the Trump administration – there MIGHT be something of a learning curve.

    From a decorated General with extensive career experience with some of the more highly classified material possible, at least regarding the conduct of war, this is just utter bullshit. If ANYONE in the White House should know how seriously to take security clearances, Kelly should.

    “Oops” just doesn’t cut it. It HAD to be deliberate.

  • JohnInCA

    Is there any evidence that there’s problems for folks that aren’t political appointees? ’cause the problem might not be the system, just that the administration won’t take “no” for an answer.

  • Halou

    Much of the problem comes from Trump regarding the ability to say “Of course, boss” to be the highest qualification a person can have. That, and his interest in hiring people who he knows have skeletons in their closet… just in case they feel inclined to use the “no” word around him, he can threaten them back into line with exposure.
    Previous administrations may have favoured loyalists but still at least considered a person’s qualification before putting them forward for a job.

  • Gerry Fisher

    This gives the appearance of being all organized and official and everything, but it obscures the facts that 1) He has a military background and should have had a firm understanding of the fundamentals of security clearances, and 2) Why hadn’t he and this administration put a reasonable process in place already?

    Kelly is quickly losing his ability to fool people into thinking he’s the grown up in the room. The only thing lamer than a 5-page memo would have been “let’s form a committee to look into this matter.”

  • Davester

    This will be officially meaningless…because the security classification system is entirely promulgated from executive order, and the president has the final say in all related matters.