Former Army Ranger, Benghazi hero and survivor Kris "Tonto" Paranto took to Twitter this week to slam former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan after President Trump pulled his security clearance.
That followed a joint letter signed by seven former CIA directors, six former CIA deputy directors, and two former national intelligence directors calling Trump's move against Brennan "ill-considered and unprecedented" and "an attempt to stifle free speech". When asked about Ohr's security clearance, Trump said, "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly". "There's no silence. If anything, I'm giving them a bigger voice", he said.
The counter-punch comes after days of criticism from former USA national security officials and military leaders who've cast Trump's cancellation of Brennan's clearance - an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the president - as a risky precedent.
He says Trump can't suppress his critics' voices, which will continue until he becomes "the leader we prayed you would be".
The White House did not suggest that Brennan had committed any security breaches, and Trump himself, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, linked the clearance revocation to the "sham" Russian Federation investigation, which he said Brennan and others had "led".
While Trump has repeatedly insisted there was "no collusion", Brennan wrote that the "only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of "Trump Incorporated" attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets".
Trump on Wednesday openly tied his decision to strip Brennan of his clearance - and threaten almost a dozen other former and current officials - to the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with his campaign. The White House has drafted additional documents revoking the security clearances of current and former officials, and Mr. Trump is ready to sign them, according to The Washington Post, which cited senior administration officials.
"I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace", Trump said.
Brennan is a longstanding critic of Trump, in July accusing him of being "wholly in the pocket of Putin" and his conduct 'nothing short of treasonous'.
"I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham", Trump was quoted as saying in the interview.
The fact is, Trump has verified that revoking security clearances is an act of political revenge and has nothing to do with national security.
"Our signatures below do not necessarily mean that we concur with the opinions expressed by former Director Brennan or the way in which he expressed them", the former officials said.
Trump spoke to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for a pair of Long Island events and a weekend at his Bedminster, New Jersey, estate Friday. And that's okay with me, because I like taking on voices like that.
Russian Federation denies having meddled in the 2016 election, but USA intelligence agencies uniformly say Moscow did intervene and tried to help Trump beat Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace.
Writing in The Washington Post, William H. McRaven said he would "consider it an honour" if Trump would revoke his clearance as well.