Former CIA Director John Brennan said President Donald Trump was behind an effort to prevent him from accessing his records while he wrote a book, which ran contrary to a common practice.
According to The Washington Post, Brennan wrote in the book that he was met with obstacles when he first requested access to his classified records dating back to his time as director. Months later, he discovered Trump — with whom he routinely clashes — prevented the CIA from allowing him to review the notes and documents he was seeking to read.
Brennan said he found out that in August 2018, Trump "had issued a directive … that purportedly forbids anyone in the intelligence community from sharing classified information with me."
The White House confirmed the move.
"The president has constitutional authority to control access to classified information, which he exercised here in view of Mr. Brennan's erratic behavior and the president's belief that access to classified information should be solely for the benefit of the government and the American people," White House spokesman Judd Deere told the Post.
Historically, past CIA directors have been allowed to look at their classified papers after they leave the spy agency so they can write their memoirs. Then CIA then scrubs the manuscript of any classified material before it goes to a publisher.
Parts of Brennan's book, "Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies, at Home and Abroad," were shared with the Post. It is slated to hit store shelves on Oct. 6.
In the book, Brennan discussed his career in the CIA — he was director from 2013 to 2017 — and provided details about a security briefing he and others in the intelligence community gave to Trump in January 2017, two weeks before Trump took office.
Brennan said he had "serious doubts" that Trump would keep the information from the meeting to himself and others in the room.
"I had decided beforehand that I would share the full substance of CIA intelligence and analysis on Russian interference in the election without providing any specific details on the provenance of our knowledge," he wrote.
"Trump's alertness never faded during the briefing, but his demeanor as well as his questions strongly revealed that he was uninterested in finding out what the Russians had done or in holding them to account."
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