Trump revokes security clearance from ex-CIA chief over 'erratic behaviour'

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders right accompanied by White House Deputy White press secretary Hogan Gidley left arrives to read a statement from President Donald Trump announcing that he is removing the security clearance from forme

Trump said Wednesday that he is also reviewing the security clearances of nine other former officials, including former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey, all of whom have criticized the president or been targeted by congressional Republicans seeking to discredit the Russian Federation probe.

"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.

Instead, Brennan was appointed Deputy National Security Advisor, a position which did not require Senate confirmation.

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".

Brennan: Called Trump a 'traitor.' Now Trump's taken away his security clearances. "The CIA's Inspector General however contradicted Mr. Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed improperly accessed congressional staffers' files".

"As the head of the executive branch and commander-in-chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation's classified information, including by controlling access to it", Trump's statement read.

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

Also on the list: fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

"No. If there were others that weren't, that we deemed necessary, we would certainly take a look and review those as well", Ms. Sanders said when asked if Mr. Trump is going after his political opponents.

The decision to listen to Paul's counsel is the latest evidence of an increasingly tight bond emerging between the president and the Kentucky Republican, who fought Trump for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, but has emerged as a top defender of Trump's foreign policy, particularly when it comes to Russian Federation.




But the blame for the revocation of Brennan's clearance lies with Brennan - not President Trump.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced the decision by reading a statement from Mr Trump.

"In adding John Brennan to his enemies list, Trump demonstrates again how deeply insecure and vindictive he is - two character flaws unsafe in any president".

Hayden told CNN viewers on Wednesday that Trump's decision to revoke Brennan's clearance was "threatening to the rest of us" and amounted to an attempt to silence dissent.

James Clapper, former U.S. director of national intelligence.

"If he chooses to do it for political reasons, I think that's a bad precedent, and it's a very sad commentary, and it's an abuse of the system", Clapper said last month when it first emerged that Trump was weighing revoking the clearances of former officials.

But the statement tracks some of Paul's criticism, accusing Brennan of leveraging "his status as a former high-ranking official.to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about the administration".

"American voters must not shrug off or be distracted from the awful behaviors of his president, who lies to the American people every day, encourages racism, is a misogynist, and always puts his own interests above those of the United State of America", Comey wrote.

President Trump has also threatened to remove clearances from eight former officials and one current official.

Former intelligence officials usually keep their security clearance but rarely use it, sometimes providing advice to successors. In its announcement, the White House did not point to any specific evidence that Brennan had divulged classified information - furthering the notion that the president was simply engaging in retaliation.

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