Donald Trump is believed to have requested top-level security clearance for his son-in-law so he is able to join him at daily presidential intelligence briefings.
The president-elect has reportedly taken the unprecedented step of asking for his daughter Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner to be awarded top-secret clearance.
If Kushner is awarded the status, it would allow him to accompany Trump to the briefings, although there are laws in place to stop US presidents appointing family members to cabinet positions or formal government jobs.
However, it is believed Trump could argue that Kushner is merely on his transition team, so the laws to do not apply yet.
The request comes after sources told NBC News that the president-elect received his first daily briefing yesterday, where he designated Kushner and retired General Michael Flynn as his staff-level companion.
However, General Flynn, who is tipped to be Trump’s national security adviser, already has the necessary security clearance.
Kushner is thought to have been regarded by Trump as an indispensable figure on his path to the White House.
The 35-year-old is the son of Charles Kushner, a real estate developer, philanthropist and major Democratic donor whose reputation was left in tatters after a lurid criminal case.
Charles was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty in 2004 to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making unlawful campaign donations.
During the case, Charles admitted to smearing his brother-in-law, who had cooperated with prosecutors, by hiring a prostitute to have sex with him in a motel room, then sending a secretly recorded video of the encounter to the man’s wife, Charles Kushner’s own sister.
Kushner, who was 24 at the time and still in law school, took over his father’s business.
He then became a major player in real estate in his mid-20s, after his father’s conviction.
At 26, he orchestrated what was the most-expensive single-building purchase in US history in 2006 with the $1.8 billion acquisition of a 41-story skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Kushner emerged as an important voice early in Trump’s campaign, launched in June 2015.
He was involved in almost every aspect of Trump’s campaign, offering advice on key personnel decisions, strategy, speeches, fundraising and other areas.
But despite the news that Kushner is applying for security clearance, Trump denied that he was also requesting such status for his children.
It had been reported that the president-elect had requested clearance for his two sons Donald Jnr and Eric and daughter Ivanka.
But Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway told the ‘Today’ show on Tuesday that any inquiries would have been informal queries for information about what might be possible – not formal requests for access to state secrets.
Trump also later tweeted: ‘I am not trying to get “top level security clearance” for my children. This was a typically false news story.’