My wife had a DOE Q level security clearance - Top Secret Restricted Data. To get cleared, the FBI did a background check. They interviewed our neighbors & relatives. It took several months.

Posted By: pangloss
Date: Saturday 12 January 2019, at 01:13 pm
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Denial of a clearance level is not like a criminal prosecution, it doesn't require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. A reasonable suspicion or potentially compromising information can get someone rejected. Frequent foreign travel to adversary countries, substantial debt, bankruptcy, or infidelity could be the grounds for denial.

When someone is nominated by a major party for the presidency they are granted some level of clearance by the incumbent president without a background check. Upon inauguration, the new president automatically has the highest level of clearance.

If Trump had to have a background check for his security clearance, he would have been turned down for a variety of reasons and would have been referred to the FBI counterintelligence office for investigation. That's a hell of a note, don't you think.

NY Times: F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia
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