Trump revokes security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director

Blanche Robertson
August 16, 2018

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, reading a statement from President Donald Trump, announced Wednesday that former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan's security clearance has been revoked.

The announcement was made by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday.

Addressing the clearance removal, Mr Trump dismissed Mr Brennan's criticism and cited "the risks posed by his [Mr Brennan's] erratic conduct and behaviour".

President Trump has ordered former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance to be revoked.

Former top intelligence and national security officials retain clearances in case an instance arises in which they're called to consult with their successors in a classified setting.

The agency's inspector general, he added, concluded that they had. The president has criticized him on Twitter because of his connection to former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier containing damaging information about then-candidate Trump.

On Wednesday, Mr Brennan tweeted at the president: "It's astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity".

Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump's act "unbecoming of a President", and warned that it would only embolden Brennan in his public crusade against Trump.

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Sanders brought into question why former government officials should maintain their security clearances, although these clearances are typically valid for five years.

The Brennan dust-up reminds me of the Omarosa feud, oddly enough, in that both are examples of Trump counterproductively elevating a critic because he couldn't resist the temptation to take a swing at them.

Brennan spread the claims from the dossier to the Gang of Eight, the Congress members privy to classified information.

The review, which examined five other former intelligence officers including the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, was extended yesterday to Bruce Ohr, a senior official at the Justice Department. "And these people led it", Trump told The Journal, referring to Brennan and a handful of other U.S. intelligence veterans who played a role in the early aughts of the Russian Federation probe - and whose security clearances the White House said it was reviewing.

"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", Trump said. "Won't have any effect on what I say or write".

A spokesman for Mr Brennan declined to immediately comment.

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.

Appearing last night on MSNBC, Brennan elaborated, saying Trump has "badly sullied the reputation of the office of the presidency with his invective".

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