Now that a new charge has been leveled at the Trump White House, that over 100 staffers in the Executive Office of the President were operating on interim clearances more than a year after Trump was elected, it should be pointed out that over a year into Bill Clinton’s first term, roughly 100 White House personnel of the total of 1,044 personnel had no security clearance at all.
As The Washington Times reports, both Republicans and Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence were concerned; they wrote to CIA Director James Woolsey on March 17, 1994, “… What specific steps …have [you] taken to ensure that information classified to protect intelligence sources and methods has not been made available to individuals on the White House staff who do not have appropriate clearances?”
The Times adds, “And there was a problem with basic passes. Nearly one-third of all staff lacked permanent grounds and building passes.”
Clinton was asked about the issue at a press conference. He replied:
Now, on the White House passes thing, let’s just talk about what the facts are. About 90 percent of all the people who work here have been through all the clearances. I learned, when I read about this, that apparently previous Administrations had had some of the same problems. That is they’d been lax because of the cumbersome nature of the process. We now basically put in rules that say that anybody comes to work here now has to get all this done in 30 days or is immediately on leave without pay. They can’t get paid unless they do it. I asked Mr. McClarty and Mr. Cutler to fix this and make sure it never happens again.