According to a Politico report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the White House on Thursday and performed a series of background checks on multiple members of the staff.
Six staffers who failed the tests were escorted from the White House on the same day. Reportedly, they had troubles with their SF86 application also known as the “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.”
The questionnaire is a 127-page document with questions on employment record, family history, medical record, credit score, drug use, and other personal issues that may bar an applicant from landing a national security position.
Sources said that President Donald Trump’s director of scheduling Caroline Wiles failed the FBI background checks and was dismissed. Wiles is the daughter of the president’s former campaign manager for Florida.
According to the report, Wiles stepped down Friday before the security test was completed. She served as deputy assistant secretary before Trump was sworn-in on January 20. People familiar with the matter said she will be offered a job at the Treasury Department.
Trump’s critics used the news to blast the president on social media.
@thehill Staffers don’t have to pass the background check BEFORE they start working in White House? This is nuts
— Ubbo Ubbo (@TheRealUbboUbbo) February 16, 2017
Lmao the White House staff can’t even pass an FBI background check, but thinks it should be responsible for vetting immigrants.
— Aldo Raine (@ThatHawkwardGuy) February 16, 2017
The White House hasn’t released an official statement on the ousters. According to experts, the SF86 test is a requirement for any applicant seeking security clearances or high-risk public trust positions. The panel that should ensure that the information provided by applicants is accurate is the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
It is worth noting that, the president’s chief of staff Reince Priebus had said before the inauguration that background checks on Trump’s cabinet appointments were a waste of time.
Priebus argued that the checks would just slow down confirmation hearings. He added that Senators had “all the information” on the new appointments. He suggested that many of them being successful in their lives was enough to guarantee their probity.
I mean, it’s the first week of January, they have all the details that they need, they have all the information that they need,
Priebus told Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Jan. 7.
He made the comments after The Office of Government Ethics had warned the White House that background checks would delay confirmation hearings as some new nominees declined to provide financial disclosures.
The FBI’s surprise visit comes amid allegations that other Trump aides had ties with Russian official on and off the campaign trail, beside General Michael Flynn. On Thursday, a reporter attacked Trump in the White House press briefing room for avoiding any questions related to the scandal.
Fox News correspondent Shepard Smith blasted the president for making his colleagues look like fools when they are questioning him on his staffers’ Russian connections. Trump has repeatedly dismissed allegations as “fake news” spread by the “dishonest” mainstream media.
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