Former US security leaders blast Trump for yanking clearance

Pauline Gross
August 17, 2018

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period, so they can be in a position to advise their successors and to hold certain jobs.

Mr McRaven said few Americans had done more than Mr Brennan to protect the nation.

All are critics of the president or are people whom Trump appears to believe are against him.

Trump later told the Wall Street Journal his decision was connected to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign.

Brennan, who was head of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2013 to 2017, also raised the occasion in July 2016 wen Trump called on the Russians to find the missing emails of his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.

"On Wednesday, Trump cited "lying", frenzied commentary", and "erratic conduct" as reasons he'd revoked Brennan's security clearance.

"And these people led it", Trump said, referring to Brennan and nine other past and current government security officials whose clearances he is considering revoking.

"I don't trust many of those people on that list", he said.

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"Mr. Brennan has gone way over the line in my view and I think restricting his clearance, pulling his clearance makes sense to me", he said.

The White House is also reviewing the security clearance of other former officials who have been critical of the president, including former national intelligence director James Clapper, former national security agency director Michael Hayden, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

"I'd strip the whole bunch of them", Hannity said.

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, McRaven praised Brennan as "a man of unparalleled integrity" and maligned the president for what he called Trump's "McCarthy-era tactics" to "suppress the voice of criticism".

Other names on that list include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, and many others.

On his Twitter account, Trump reposted several comments supporting his revocation of Brennan's clearance, including one from Sean Hannity, a conservative Fox News television host. Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official now in the criminal division, was also on the White House list.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision at a White House briefing Wednesday. U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro said Mueller should also investigate the issue now that Trump has tied it to the Russian Federation probe.

Other reports by GizPress

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