Newsday, Trump revokes ex-CIA chief's security clearance

Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan

Announcing the decision Sarah Sanders, the press secretary, accused the former intelligence chief of "erratic conduct and behavior", adding he had "leveraged" his security status to make "unfounded, outrageous" allegations about the administration.

Medhi Hasan, Greenwald's colleague at The Intercept, captured the absurdity of Trump's standard for who should and shouldn't have access to classified information by noting that the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, still has a security clearance-a fact that clearly shows Trump's decision to revoke Brennan's clearance was based on a petty grudge, not any reasonable "national security" concerns.

True to form, Brennan himself responded to Trump in a verbose tweet, stating that "my principles are worth far more than clearances", and vowing to keep up the #resistance. "I think that they're very duplicitous".

After Trump yanked Brennan's security clearance, Brennan said Trump's "claims of no collusion" are "hogwash".

The President said he has also begun to review the more general question of the access to classified information by government officials and is evaluating action against former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, former head of the NSA Michael Hayden, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former president Barack Obama's NSA Susan Rice and others. Senator Chris Van Hollen, of Maryland, said: "Leaders behave like this in dictatorships, not democracies".

"Mr Brennan's lying and recent conduct characterised by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nations' most closely held secrets", Mr Trump's statement said.

Trump announced Wednesday that he chose to revoke Brennan's security clearance, marking an unprecedented use of a president's authority over the classification system to strike back at one of his prominent critics.




McRaven tells Trump that he would consider it an honour if the president would revoke his security clearance as well so he can add his name to the list of individuals who have spoken out against Trump's presidency. That prompted pointed questions suggesting Sanders only made the Brennan revocation public this week to distract from other controversies swirling around Trump.

Two days after the briefing, Reid wrote a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey asserting that "evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount".

Brennan is the first former national security official to see his security clearance revoked since the White House announced last month that Trump was considering taking that action against several of his most vocal critics in the national security world.

Heilemann agreed that Brennan had become a political figure by calling out the president as objectively bad, but he said the former intelligence official appeared motivated by patriotism - and not partisanship.

Last month, Brennan described Trump's summit with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Helsinki as "nothing short of treasonous" after Trump sided with the Kremlin over United States intelligence officials when asked if Moscow had interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The threat of losing his clearance won't stop him from speaking out against the administration, he said.

In 2014, as the Senate Intelligence Committee was compiling a lengthy report into the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" at its secret prisons, chair Dianne Feinstein (D-California) accused Brennan's agency of secretly monitoring the committee's computers and removing sensitive documents.

"I've seen this type of behaviour and actions on the parts of foreign tyrants, despots, and autocrats for many, many years during my Central Intelligence Agency and national security career", he told Wallace of his security-clearance revocation, adding, "I never, ever thought I'd see it here in the United States". Bob Corker, R-Tenn., saying, "Unless there's something tangible that I'm unaware of, it just, as I've said before, feels like a banana republic kind of thing".

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