WaPo columnist calls on GOP to censure Trump over security clearances

A sketch of Judge T.S. Ellis III

"I know that I've gotten tremendous response from having done that, because security clearances are very important to me".

Trump's admission that he acted out of frustration about the Russian Federation probe underscored his willingness to use his executive power to fight back against an investigation he sees as a threat to his presidency.

Trump's actions have been widely condemned, including by respected former admiral William McRaven, the commander of the US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Asked about Ohr's security clearance, Mr. Trump said: "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly".

Trump turned his ire towards former Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr for communicating with the phony dossier investigator Christopher Steele after he was sacked from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and working with Russian oligarchs.

The letter reads in part, "The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an "unwitting agent" of Russia and the Kremlin".

In revoking Brennan's clearance, Trump on Wednesday accused the former Central Intelligence Agency director, one of his most outspoken critics, of making "a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about this Administration".

Trump has ordered a review for nine others who have security clearances.




In his letter McRaven also directly criticized President Trump saying "through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation".

Special Counsel Mueller and his team have been looking at Trump's public statements and tweets as they investigate whether the president could be guilty of obstruction.

In the op-ed, McRaven, who retired from the Navy in 2014, described Brennan as "a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don't know him".

Former officials often retain security clearance after leaving office to allow their successors to consult them on issues of the day.

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

President Donald Trump spoke to members of the media, today, before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Southampton, N.Y., for a fundraiser.

"I don't think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it's factually relevant", said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney.

The move has united a who's who of former top intelligence officials who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

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