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November 15, 2016

Need-to-Know Required for Access to Nation’s Top Secrets

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on news reports that President-elect Trump may request top secret security clearances for his children:

“The President-elect’s request of top secret security clearances for his children must be reconsidered. His children are not employed by the federal government, have zero experience in the national security field or the intelligence community, and will not be White House officials.  There are no grounds for a determination that they have a need to know our nation’s top secrets.”

“In the wake of a campaign where the security of classified information was of concern to Americans, this move from the President-elect to open our nation’s most sensitive secrets to his family members, the same people who he has tapped to run his privately-held company while he serves as president, is unjustifiable.  In the past week, the range of conflicts of interest that the President-elect may have are only beginning to be discussed.”

“Granting security clearances to people whose part-time interest in our federal government is rooted in nepotism and the numerous conflicts of interest created by their continuing to run private corporations could chill information sharing with private industry and international partners is not in the best interest of our nation. Our nation’s top secrets should not be carelessly or casually shared with those without a national security need-to-know.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978