Donald Trump security clearance row intensifies

Pauline Gross
August 18, 2018

President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that he expects to "quickly" revoke the security clearance for Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, calling his continued presence at the DOJ a "disgrace".

According to reports Thursday, Bruce Ohr stands to lose his job at the department if the president revokes his security clearance.

Brennan has repeatedly clashed with Trump on Twitter and on television, calling Trump's failure to denounce Russian interference in US elections at a recent summit with Vladimir Putin "nothing short of treasonous".

Ohr's wife, Nellie, was employed during the 2016 campaign by Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned an infamous dossier on Trump's alleged ties to Russian Federation that was authored by Christopher Steele, a former British spy.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, while not specifying Ohr's current job, has said that he has no involvement in Mueller's investigation, begun past year.

Ohr is under intense Republican scrutiny for his contacts with Glenn Simpson, who co-founded the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.

Praising John Brennan's character, honesty, and integrity, he invited Trump to revoke his own clearance as well. "But I can tell you, having worked in the national security and intelligence community for many, many years - these are not the type of people who are bullied or intimidated by the likes of someone of Mr. Trump".

The signatories of the letter include outspoken former officers including Nada Bakos, David Priess, and John Sipher, who have criticized Mr. Trump.

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Brennan, a former official in the Obama administration and sharp critic of Trump, has said he will not be deterred by the removal of his security clearance.

"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", the statement read.

The signees included seven former CIA directors, five former CIA deputy directors and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Dozens of other former spies signaled their support for the statement.

"I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the President from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances", Warner tweeted. "Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security and not political views".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said the United States was not going to take Turkey's detention of U.S. Christian pastor Andrew Brunson "sitting down", a day after his Treasury chief said Washington could hit Ankara with further sanctions.

That directly contradicted a July 2017 statement from Trump Jr. - written with the consultation of the White House - that claimed the meeting had been primarily about adoption.

Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden have appeared on a White House list of people who may also have their security clearances revoked.

Other reports by GizPress

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