Trump makes good on threat to revoke former CIA Director Brennan's clearance

Trump makes good on threat to revoke former CIA Director Brennan's clearance

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, blasted President Trump's decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance.

"Today, in fulfilling that responsibility [to protect the nation's classified information], I have chose to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan", Sanders read, quoting a statement from Trump.

First, 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.

Mr Brennan has been deeply critical of Mr Trump's conduct, calling his performance at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland "nothing short of treasonous".

Trump announced Wednesday that he was revoking Brennan's clearance, following through on what he said last month was under consideration.

Another Democratic politician, Tom Guild, running for a House seat from Oklahoma, compared the list of those the president is also considering for revocation of security clearance akin to former President Richard Nixon's "Watergate enemies list". Brennan said he learned of Trump's action only when the White House announced it.

Sanders said Trump is also reviewing the clearances of James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr - all people who have voiced political criticism of Trump.

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Also on the list: fired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page and senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whom the president has tweeted about recently.

At least two of the former officials, Mr Comey and Mr McCabe, do not now have security clearances. Trump's concern apparently is that their former status gives special weight to their statements, both to Americans and foreign foes. Ohr is now a Justice Department lawyer.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was not consulted on revoking Brennan's clearance, an official with knowledge told CNN's Jim Sciutto.

Brennan has come under fire for several tweets and television appearances condemning the president.

"With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write", Hayden wrote.

"What we've seen today is one more traditional norm being struck down by this president", Warner said, speaking to a gaggle of press in a Senate office building. "I also believe this action to silence a critic is unlawful".

He added that, "Leaders behave like this in dictatorships, not democracies".

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