US intelligence officials are investigating business deals linked to President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, CNN reported early Friday morning, in a revelation the news network said could impact her application for full security clearance.
The FBI is probing the negotiations and financing surrounding Trump International Hotel and Tower in Vancouver, the report quoted an unnamed US official and a former US official as saying. The investigation is reportedly focused on business deals said to have been negotiated by Ivanka Trump in connection with the property, which opened in February 2017, just after her father took office.
The report comes just days after Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, had his White House security clearance downgraded, preventing him from viewing top-secret materials he has previously been privy to.
The report said that the investigation could have an impact on Ivanka Trump’s own application for clearance in her role as adviser to President Donald Trump, a claim flatly denied by a spokesman for the First Daughter.
“CNN is wrong that any hurdle, obstacle, concern, red flag or problem has been raised with respect to Ms. Trump or her clearance application,” Peter Mirijanian, a spokesman for Ivanka Trump, told CNN. “Nothing in the new White House policy has changed Ms. Trump’s ability to do the same work she has been doing since she joined the Administration.”
Alan Garten, executive vice president and chief legal officer for the Trump Organization, told the channel that “the company’s role was and is limited to licensing its brand and managing the hotel. Accordingly, the company would have had no involvement in the financing of the project or the sale of units.”
Kushner has come under scrutiny in special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but Ivanka has so far remained out of the FBI’s spotlight.
Mueller is reportedly probing Jared Kushner’s efforts to get foreign investors beyond Russia to provide financing for his company during the presidential transition.
Kushner has also been forced to repeatedly correct omissions in his “SF-86,” the government-wide form used to apply for clearances, as well as his financial disclosure forms, which experts said could delay or even nix his chances of earning a clearance through the normal process.
Separately, the White House announced Wednesday that Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of the president’s most trusted aides and a former staffer for Ivanka Trump, was resigning. The news of her leaving, the latest in a string of notable departures, came the day after she was interviewed for nine hours by the House panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.