Pres. Trump makes good on threat to revoke Brennan's clearance

Leroy Wright
August 17, 2018

Trump consulted with Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff John Kelly, and National Security Adviser John Bolton before taking the step, said a person familiar with the matter.

Brennan said publicly reported evidence already points to suspicious relations between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

He also described the action was something he had seen from "foreign tyrants, despots, and autocrats" throughout his career.

Reading off a statement from the president from the briefing room podium prior to his interview, Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday the president's move to revoke Brennan's clearance was related to "risks posed by his erratic conductand behavior".

Brennan, who led the agency from 2013 to 2017, wrote in The New York Times on Thursday described Trump's decision as "politically motivated", and that the president's claims of no collusion with Russian Federation were "in a word, hogwash". Just hours before Trump issued the edict, the former Central Intelligence Agency chief had accused the Republican leader of failing "to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity".

Closing arguments in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, are also being heard.

"It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out", Brennan said. "Brennan's outspoken criticism of this administration has been noteworthy, I would say".

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"The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they've politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances", she said at the time.

Paul told reporters this week that Russian officials refused to acknowledge interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign and he said the US should stop expecting the country to confess.

But Brennan, who is now a contributor at MSNBC, has gone much further than his tweet criticizing Trump's twitter battles.

After Trump held a press conference with Russian President Putin in Helsinki last month Mr Brennan tweeted: "Donald Trump's press conference performance in Helsinki rises to and exceeds the threshold of "high crimes and misdemeanours". What lost him his clearance is the same thing that earned Omarosa her White House job, nothing more or less than their respective willingness or unwillingness to flatter the president at length.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt; [it] is a sham", Trump told the Journal's Peter Nicholas and Michael C. Bender.

Former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies can usually keep access to classified information after leaving office "so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insight and as a professional courtesy", Trump said in an August 15 statement.

President Trump's statement said Mr Brennan's clearance issue raised wider questions about allowing former officials to keep their security clearances.

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