"He'll continue to do the important work that he's been focused on for the a year ago". If Kelly revokes Kushner's clearance, he will not have access to some of the classified information contained in the presidential briefing.
With Kelly seated nearby, Trump said: "I have no doubt he will make the right decision".
Almost a year after the administration's arrival, some high-level officials - including daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband - remained with provisional credentials to access such information, even when other senior advisers were given full access.
The White House maintains that Kushner's work will be unaffected by the change, but won't explain why. The official said many staffers holding interim top secret or SCI clearances would lose them - but most don't need them for their day-to-day jobs.
During his response to the security clearance question, Trump also praised Kushner's work on attempting to broker a deal between Israel and Palestine and called his performance "truly outstanding".
In his phone conversation with McGahn, Rosenstein meant to give an update on the status of Kushner's background investigation. 'Here's the thing, ' the Republican official said.
"That'll be up to General Kelly".
Trump made the comments during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House with the Australian prime minister.
Options included giving Kushner a lesser clearance that would allow him to keep doing his job.
Still, Kushner's security clearance woes could be swept away by his father-in-law, who as president can bypass the clearance process and grant anyone access to classified information.
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But on Friday, CNN revealed that Kushner hasn't obtained a full security clearance partly because of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation, and that Kushner likely won't receive full clearance while the probe is underway.
"SCI" refers to 'Secure Compartmented Information, the most sensitive material in USA government has. People familiar with the February 9 call said Rosenstein was returning a White House phone call seeking guidance on the status of his background investigation, among those of others. Kushner has also come under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. "There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise", Kelly said. "Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the president's agenda".
But "the president has the authority to do whatever he chooses in terms of security - it is a presidential decision in the end", Dershowitz said.
During the past six months, McGahn privately discussed the slow pace of Kushner's background investigation with other senior aides, including with Kelly in the fall, according to a top administration official. It also provided another layer of intrigue to the acrimonious relationship between Kushner and Kelly, who have been at odds over access to the President and the classified materials he views.
"The hardest deal to make of any kind is between the Israelis and the Palestinians", he said.
Kelly overhauled the security clearance rules for the White House after the Rob Porter domestic abuse scandal. Kushner failed to report some of those contacts to United States officials. Kushner has said the omissions were inadvertent errors.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said on Friday that Rosenstein "has not referenced to the White House any specific concerns relating to this individual's security clearance process".
At his news conference Friday, Trump defended his son-in-law, who he noted does not draw a salary.
He complained about a "broken" system that has required "months and months" of waiting for people with unremarkable circumstances.