Published: Thu, August 16, 2018

Trump revokes security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director Brennan

Trump revokes security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director Brennan

Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan - one of his most vocal critics on national security issues.

The announcement was made by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

In his statement, Trump suggested the ex-spy chief had tossed around "unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about this administration" and engaged in "increasingly frenzied commentary".

"John Brennan is being punished by not being able to find out who got droned yesterday, I hope he's ok", joked Splinter's Libby Watson. Trump said. "So I think something had to be done".

Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Wednesday that security clearances shouldn't be taken away as a means of "punishing people who have criticized the President, or coercing others into silence".

Trump also pointed to Brennan's more recent statement to Congress that the USA intelligence community did not make use of the so-called Steele dossier in its January 2017 assessment of Russia's interference in the 2016 United States election.

These include former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, who was sacked a year ago, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Sally Yates.

"This is being looked at on a case-by-case basis", Sanders said, while denying that people's clearances are under review due to their criticisms of Trump.

"Brennan has become a political figure, clearly, but ... in some ways his motives may be purer than anybody's, in the sense that he is terrified of the country and thinks that the president is a risky figure", Heilemann said.

"I don't see why he would need a security clearance, I really don't", he told CNN.

Trump's statement said the Brennan issue raises larger questions about the practice of allowing former officials to maintain their security clearances, and said that others officials' were under review. The president said he was fulfilling his "constitutional responsibility to protect the nation's classified information".

Brennan said he's anxious Trump is sending a message to other former and current officials with security clearances that they shouldn't say critical things about the president.

In 2014, as the Senate Intelligence Committee was compiling a lengthy report into the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" at its secret prisons, chair Dianne Feinstein (D-California) accused Brennan's agency of secretly monitoring the committee's computers and removing sensitive documents.

He called Donald Trump treasonous over his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki, he has also called him imbecilic and a danger to the US.

He said others were under review. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, in a tweet.

"If they're saying that the only way I can speak is to be in an adulation mode of this president, I'm sorry".

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