President Trump Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director John Brennan

16 August, 2018, 14:30 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director John Brennan.

"The CIA's Inspector General however contradicted Mr. Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed improperly accessed congressional staffers' files".

He went on to suggest he's reviewing the security clearance of other critics - James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr - simply because he's decided that they're bad people. "And it is an abuse of power for Trump to revoke clearances, unless he can prove misuse of classified information, which I don't think he can". She wrote an op-ed for The New York Times in July, saying the USA had "so much to lose and so little to gain" from the Trump-Putin summit - "given this very atypical US President", she added in a tweet.

True to form, Brennan himself responded to Trump in a verbose tweet, stating that "my principles are worth far more than clearances", and vowing to keep up the #resistance. He probably wanted to pull it weeks ago and was talked out of it by Kelly or Don McGahn or whoever, which would explain the July 26 date, only to say "to hell with it" after Brennan popped off about him again on Twitter yesterday.

Trump's action against Brennan, critics and nonpartisan experts said, marked an unprecedented politicization of the federal government's security clearance process.

Former CIA director John Brennan.

President Trump has repeatedly denied the claim, calling it a "witch hunt".

The move immediately prompted accusations of political retaliation by current and former officials, as well as security analysts, who said Trump would set a risky precedent by punishing political speech.

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The Brennan dust-up reminds me of the Omarosa feud, oddly enough, in that both are examples of Trump counterproductively elevating a critic because he couldn't resist the temptation to take a swing at them.

Sanders defended the decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance as one aimed at fulfilling the President's "constitutional responsibility to protect classified information".

Brennan now works for NBC News as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst", Clapper found a new home at CNN, and Comey penned a book thrashing the Trump administration and comparing Trump himself to a "mob boss". And the campaign's former deputy chairman, Rick Gates, has pleaded guilty to financial fraud and lying to investigators.

He went on to tell CNN that "it's nearly as if they wanted us to implicitly sign a no disparagement agreement" - a reference to gag orders which Trump often insists on for civilian staff.

Well before Monday night, when Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani let a small bomb drop on Brennan, there was strong evidence that Brennan had been quarterbacking illegal operations against Trump.

The statement added that Mr Trump was also reviewing access to classified information for nine other high-ranking officials, all of whom have criticised the president.

"An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American".


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