A White House security specialist in the office that cleared Jared Kushner’s top-secret security clearance has been reportedly suspended without pay—and claims her suspension is retaliation for a complaint she made against the man who controversially approved the senior Trump adviser’s request. NBC News reported Thursday reported Tricia Newbold was suspended in early December for what it characterized as claims of a “failure to supervise, failure to follow instructions, and defiance of authority.” Newbold and her lawyer claim her suspension was a result of her decision to file an EEOC complaint against her supervisor, Carl Kline. Last week, NBC News reported that Kline approved Kushner’s security clearance despite the fact that it had been denied by two White House security experts.
The complaint alleges that Kline put files out of reach of Newbold, who has a form of dwarfism. “It’s clearly reprisal for her whistle-blowing,” said Newbold’s lawyer, Ed Passman. “[It] has no basis in merit whatsoever.” Newbold told NBC News that “I confidently feel that this is completely unwarranted and I am also confident that I have done nothing wrong, every decision I and my team have made have always been in the best interest of the United States. There is no compromise of personal identifiable information or sensitive information.”