Tags: trump | security clearance | brennan | comey | clapper

Trump Revokes Ex-CIA Director Brennan's Security Clearance, Reviews Comey, Clapper

Trump Revokes Ex-CIA Director Brennan's Security Clearance, Reviews Comey, Clapper
John Brennan (AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 August 2018 02:39 PM

President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday, accusing Brennan of using his access to classified information to "sow division and chaos" about the Trump administration.

Trump announced the decision in a statement read by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders at her daily news briefing.

Trump is reviewing clearances for additional Obama-era officials including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, fired FBI official Peter Strzok, former Department of Justice official Lisa Page and current Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, Sanders said.

Brennan, who was director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency under Trump's predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama, has been a sharp critic of Trump, frequently appearing on cable television news shows to attack his foreign policy positions.

Trump's statement said Brennan had engaged in "increasingly frenzied commentary" and abused his access to classified information by using it to "sow division and chaos."

"At this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior ... That conduct and behavior has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that has been due to him," Trump said.

A spokesman for Brennan declined to immediately comment.

The move against Brennan came a day after the former CIA director denounced Trump in a tweet for his criticism of Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former White House aide who wrote a book critical of the president.

"It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation," Brennan wrote.

He also criticized Trump on MSNBC Tuesday evening, calling him “dangerous to our nation.”

Trump in a statement explaining his reasoning cited “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations – wild outbursts on the internet and television – about this Administration.”

“Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos,” he added.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied that Trump was retaliating for Brennan’s criticism.

“Not at all,” she said. “The president has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it.”

Trump consulted with Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff John Kelly, and National Security Adviser John Bolton before taking the step, said a person familiar with the matter.

Clapper said on CNN that Trump’s action is unprecedented and the White House is “making up the criterion as they go” for withdrawing clearances. Usually when security clearances are revoked, it is by the agencies that issued them, not the president personally, he said.

Revocations have no “immediate, substantive” impact, he said. The threat of losing his clearance won’t stop him from speaking out against the administration, he said.

“If we’re saying the only way I can speak is to be in adulation mode of this president, I’m sorry,” he said.

Sanders first indicated that Trump was considering revoking the officials’ clearances in July, drawing criticism from some lawmakers in his own party. But Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, has been an outspoken advocate for yanking Brennan’s clearance. Trump has been courting Paul’s vote for his Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, whom the senator has said may not be sufficiently committed to privacy rights.

Brennan has also been targeted by Trump’s allies in conservative media. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with “a documented history of dishonesty” and said he shouldn’t have a clearance.

Information from Reuters and Bloomberg News was used in this report.

© 2018 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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Politics
President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday, accusing Brennan of using his access to classified information in order to "sow division and chaos" about the Trump administration.
trump, security clearance, brennan, comey, clapper
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2018-39-15
Wednesday, 15 August 2018 02:39 PM
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