Tags: chris coons | revoking security clearance | obama administration

Sen. Coons: Talk on Revoking Security Clearances 'Petty, Pure Distraction'

Sen. Coons: Talk on Revoking Security Clearances 'Petty, Pure Distraction'

By    |   Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:40 PM

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., criticized on Tuesday the news that President Donald Trump was considering removing security clearances from a number of former officials who worked in the Barack Obama administration.

“Frankly the idea that a few career intelligence officials who served across both Republican and Democratic administrations should have their security clearances revoked is a pure distraction. It’s also frankly just being petty," Coons said Tuesday on CNN’s "New Day."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that the plan to remove clearances was being considered. The names under review are former CIA directors John Brennan and Michael Hayden, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former FBI director James Comey and his deputy Andrew McCAbe, Sanders said.

"Most of these officials either don’t use their security clearances or have no relevant access to classified information anymore. And I’ll note that the list of who’s being singled out exactly coincides with those who have been publicly critical of the president," Coons said in the interview.

"This is the sort of attack on free speech, the press, and the rights of individuals to speak out in our country that really doesn’t serve the president well," Coons said.

"Rather than following President Trump’s tweets and the red herrings he’s been throwing out, we should be focusing on our responsibility to strengthen our infrastructure to protect our upcoming election, and to help the American people be clear-eyed about the very real threat that Putin’s Russia represents to the United States," Coons said in the interview.

Other members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, also pushed back against the idea of revoking the clearances. Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., said, "I’m not OK with that… it’s not what we need to be doing," CNN reported. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that removing the clearances was a "cowardly action of someone who is afraid of criticism," NBC reported.

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Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., criticized on Tuesday the news that President Donald Trump was considering removing security clearances from a number of former officials who worked in the Barack Obama administration.
chris coons, revoking security clearance, obama administration
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2018-40-24
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:40 PM
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