Did past first ladies have security clearance? If yes, what level?

Clarification: I know that the position of first lady does not by itself call for security clearance. I'm just asking if it ever happened in the past that the wife of the sitting president received a security clearance during her husband's presidency.

1 Answer 1


The first lady does not receive any security clearance. No previous first lady has ever received security clearance while she was first lady

The important thing to note here is that the first lady is not an official government position. It is not defined in the constitution and therefore doesn't have any inherent powers. This is important because the first lady is wholly unelected position that is not reviewed or scrutinized by the public or representatives of the public.

  • 1
    At least one former first lady has gotten security clearance. Not quite what is asked but perhaps worth noting.
    – user9389
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 22:16
  • 3
    @notstoreboughtdirt which first lady got security clearance? Do you mean Clinton? She was not first lady at the time she got security clearance Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 22:57
  • Yes. I read your second sentence incorrectly the first time.
    – user9389
    Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 23:04
  • @notstoreboughtdirt oh, I see. It's a little ambiguous. I'll fix Commented Mar 27, 2017 at 23:05
  • 2
    Hillary doesn't count if she got clearance as secretary of state. At that time her husband wasn't active president any more. Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 15:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .