The Trump administration could possibly be the least popular in history. This week alone, there have been three resignations from people working in the White House. One of them was George David Banks, a senior official in Trump’s administration. Banks, who served for the National Economic Council, was an advisor on such things as energy and the environment.
On Tuesday, this all came to an end.
Before this week, Banks had worked for the Trump administration for a year. He didn’t however, have permanent security clearance. On Wednesday, he was informed he would not ever qualify for it because he admitted to smoking marijuana back in 2013.
Security clearance is a status granted to individuals that gives them access to classified information or restricted areas after the completion of a background check. In the US, a security clearance is an official determination that an individual is allowed to access classified information of the US government.
According to CSNBC, as of November, more than 130 White House officials do not have permanent security clearance.
Rather than waiting for a decision from White House officials, Banks took matters into his own hands and resigned from his position. His resignation was based on the fact that because he has used marijuana in the past, he was automatically ineligible to ever receive the security clearance he would need.
Banks is the third White House staff member to resign in one week. House Secretary Rob Porter resigned on Wednesday, after public allegations that he had abused multiple ex-wives. White House speechwriter, David Sorenson resigned last Friday after allegations of domestic violence.
Banks is the first to resign over past use of pot.
He isn’t however, the first person in Washington to admit to prior marijuana use. President Obama admitted to past cannabis consumption, and so did Susan Rice, his National Security Advisor. Former President Bill Clinton admittedly used weed in the past…but of course, didn’t inhale.
While the Trump administration once said they would leave legal pot alone, this hasn’t held true. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to rescind the Cole Memo has made federal marijuana prosecution a top priority.
For being known as “the land of the free”, under the Trump administration, these days America seems to be anything but.