The White House issued a ban on new interim security clearances last fall but allowed current staffers with interim clearances to remain in their positions, Politico reported on Tuesday.
The Nov. 7 email obtained by the news outlet is addressed to officials at the Office of Management and Budget. According to Politico, the email says the White House personnel security office announced it would not grant further interim security clearances, and would deny pending requests.
It was not clear why the decision was made, or whether the ban was still in place, Politico reported.
The Politico report comes amid growing scrutiny over the White House’s handling of former staff secretary Rob Porter, who announced he was stepping down after being accused of abusing his two ex-wives. Porter held an interim security clearance, leading many to question how his background check was handled.
Porter would have presumably been among the staff members who would have been allowed to stay on, despite the notice from the White House outlined in the email obtained by Politico.
The report comes the same day FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the bureau had delivered its first report on Porter and the abuse allegations to the White House months before officials said they had first learned of problems regarding the aide.
The scrutiny has also cast a spotlight on chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, who had initially defended Porter and has not offered an explanation for why he kept the aide on even after the FBI delivered its findings.