Donald Trump revokes security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan

Clay Curtis
August 17, 2018

Reactions from Republican lawmakers were mixed, with some critical of Trump while others blamed Brennan for acting inappropriately.

The Steele dossier was also presented as another reason to revoke Brennan's clearance, according to Trump's written statement.

You could be forgiven for having flashbacks to Trump's interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt in the aftermath of his firing past year of James B. Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

The statement was dated July 26.

In the case of the Holt interview, Trump never actually directly said that he fired Comey because of the Russian Federation investigation; instead, he merely said that Russian Federation was on his mind when he did it.

The president was on an extended working holiday at his New Jersey golf club last week.

Brennan continued that criticism on Wednesday.

Rand Paul, when he revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Security clearances, their issuance, revocations, and standards regarding same, are exclusively Executive functions, allowing President Trump to act unilaterally on them. What lost him his clearance is the same thing that earned Omarosa her White House job, nothing more or less than their respective willingness or unwillingness to flatter the president at length.

The ex-officials say "the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances - and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech".

Mr 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' status was under review.

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's decision to revoke his security clearance was "part of a broader effort.to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics".

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Libertarian-minded Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who first proposed pulling Brennan's clearance, cheered Trump's decision on Wednesday, and took the opportunity to remind voters that he opposed Brennan's stewardship of the Central Intelligence Agency from the get-go.

"Did the Trump people ever take anything of value from the Russians?" He is the only current government employee on the list.

That was followed late Thursday by a joint letter from 12 former senior intelligence officials calling Trump's action "ill-considered and unprecedented".

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham". The White House has been buffeted for days by claims from a disaffected former adviser to the president.

What did Trump's statement say exactly?

"I don't think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it's factually relevant", said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney.

YouTubeSarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

As part of this review, I am evaluating action with respect to the following individuals: "James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr", he said.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said Trump's move was a "stunning abuse of power".

From left, FBI Director James Comey, Director of the National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, participate in the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on worldwide threats, February 9, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democrats called it an "enemies list", a reference to the Nixon White House, which kept a list of former president Richard Nixon's political opponents to be targeted with punitive measures.

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