In an interview Tuesday morning with 'New Day' host Chris Cuomo, Sen. Richard Blumenthal responded to CNN's reporting that 30-40 White House staffers, including Jared Kushner, are still using interim security clearances for their work in the Trump administration, meaning their background checks have not yet been completed. Blumenthal says this is "profoundly significant" and represents a threat to national security. As a result, he will call for the names to be released.
"This White House has been contemptible about security," Blumenthal also said.
According to CNN, a recent GAO study found that throughout the government the security clearance investigation backlog was already at 190,000 cases in August 2014 and skyrocketed to more than 709,000 by September 2017.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Explain to me why the Democrats want to rekindle the Nunes memo by releasing the Democrat memo. I don’t get the political strategy in it.
The Nunes memo did not resonate the way Nunes and his cabal and the president hoped that it would. Your memo -- the Democrat memo -- in all likelihood will not change any of the minds that want to believe what is in the Nunes memo.
Why breathe air back onto smoldering flames?
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: The record deserves a refutation of the Nunes memo. You're absolutely right, Chris. It fell flat because the Nunes memo, in a sense, contradicted itself.
It showed that the investigation did not begin as a result of the so-called Steele dossier. George Papadopoulos began it. Nunes, himself, admitted that the warrant was not fatally infected by any political impact. And, of course, that warrant was renewed several times so it had to be productive that surveillance was, in fact, producing results.
But the point is there are elements of the Nunes memo that deserve to be refuted on the record and the Democratic minority of the House Intelligence Committee is being very responsible to work with the FBI and the Department of Justice to eliminate any parts of it that may compromise security.
And this White House has been contemptible about security. I'm going to be calling, later today, for the 30 to 40 names of the interim security clearances because I believe they are a threat to national security. They owe us those names and CNN has revealed there are 30 to 40 of them and that's profoundly significant, and security matters. That's why the refutation of the Nunes also matters.