Trump connects Russian Federation probe, action on Brennan

Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan

Trump Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director John Brennan, a Frequent Critic

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary, insisted the White House wasn't targeting only Trump critics.

They include former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, former Central Intelligence Agency director Michael Hayden and Andrew McCabe, who worked as deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation director under Mr Trump until he was sacked in March.

The statement added that Mr Trump was also reviewing access to classified information for nine other high-ranking officials, all of whom have criticised the president.

Mr Brennan said he learned of the decision only when the White House made an announcement.

It continued: "Mr. Brennan's lying and recent conduct characterised by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nations' most closely held secrets".

"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.

"I don't trust many of those people on that list", Trump said. In July, a spokesperson for McCabe tweeted that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's security clearance was he was deactivated when he was sacked.

Susan Rice, the former national security adviser.

Some suggested Trump might have grander, and more nefarious ambitions: he could be testing the waters on stripping Mueller of his security clearance.

"Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?" he queried on Twitter last month.

"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.

He went on from there by calling Brennan a failure and "a clear and present danger" because "he supports the overthrow of this particular president".

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump directly connected his decision to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign. About the only one of those that comes close to Trump's Wall Street Journal explanation is No. 3 - the idea that Brennan was making "unfounded and outrageous allegations" with regard to the Russian Federation investigation.

Former intelligence officials typically retain their security clearances so they can continue to be consulted by subsequent administrations on matters of national security.

"The First Amendment does not permit the president to revoke security clearances to punish his critics", Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, argued in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the fact that the officials on Trump's list have frequently denounced the president on television.

Epoch Times contributor Marc Ruskin, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, took issue with the free speech argument.

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