Trump Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director and Other Critics

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 Revokes Security Clearance of Former CIA Director and Other Critics

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

The White House said that Brennan used his security clearance to "sow division and chaos", and lend a sheen of credibility to his public criticisms of the president.

Sanders also said President Trump plans to review intelligence access for other former officials. Brennan has been one of Trump's harshest critics in the national security community.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said Trump's move was a "stunning abuse of power".

"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.

After leaving office in January 2017 he became one of Trump's leading critics from within the USA security community, which critics call the "deep state".

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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. In justifying his decision, Trump cited misleading testimony Brennan gave to Congress more than a year ago and more recently his regular presence on TV and Twitter criticizing Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, accusing him of "lying" and blaming his "erratic conduct and behaviour". "I don't know what it is that is behind that, but I think that's why it's critically important that Bob Mueller and his investigators be allowed to continue their work unimpeded by Mr. Trump or anyone else in the administration".

The president also said he was reviewing the security clearances of other former national security and law enforcement officials - all of whom have been critical of him.

He was particularly biting about the president's joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki a month ago.

The Obama-era CIA Director called the decision to revoke his security clearance an "attempt to suppress freedom of speech" and to "punish critics".

He continued: "So I think it's something that had to be done".

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

Former intelligence officials often maintain security clearance in case they need to be consulted on various matters pertaining to national security.

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. He is also one of the chief architects of the narrative that Russian Federation was interfering in the 2016 election to ensure that Donald Trump was elected President, and since leaving office he has tweeted attacks that match Mr. Trump's for intemperance.

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said Mr Brennan had "been totally political" and had "given the national intelligence community a bad name".

And California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, tweeted, "An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American". 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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