Trump revokes security clearance from ex-CIA chief over 'erratic behaviour'

Trump revokes clearance of former CIA chief Brennan

Former CIA Director John Brennan

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

Trump also said he was considering revoking the clearance of several other former intelligence and law-enforcement officials - many of whom have been critical of him - in the coming weeks. "But Trump's revocation of Brennan's clearance, and his threats to revoke the clearances of other former officials for the sole reason that they have criticized his conduct and policies, amount to unconstitutional retaliation".

"Lying and recent conduct characterised by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets".

The White House announced Wednesday it will be cutting off Brennan's access to classified information. So, for example, I go into Central Intelligence Agency regularly and I help them think through issues, I talk to people, I'm there to assist in any variety of ways.

You could be forgiven for having flashbacks to Trump's interview with NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt in the aftermath of his firing a year ago of James B. Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Trump's statement said the Brennan issue raises larger questions about the practice of allowing former officials to maintain their security clearances, and said that those of other officials were under review.

Rice was a national security adviser, McCabe the deputy director of the FBI while Strzok and Page worked for the bureau. My principles are worth far more than clearances.

Former CIA director John Brennan.

The delay of the announcement until yesterday, just as headlines focused on former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman's claims that Trump was recorded making a racial slur, shows that Brennan's punishment served a dual goal: punishing Brennan's outspokenness and changing the subject. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), used the claims in a letter to prompt then-FBI Director James Comey to investigate the Trump campaign for alleged collusion with the Russian interference. Fox News host Tucker Carlson on July 19 called Brennan an extremist with "a documented history of dishonesty" and said he shouldn't have a clearance.

"Revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me", Brennan said.

The Brennan dust-up reminds me of the Omarosa feud, oddly enough, in that both are examples of Trump counterproductively elevating a critic because he couldn't resist the temptation to take a swing at them.

Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency. 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.

Security clearances, their issuance, revocations, and standards regarding same, are exclusively Executive functions, allowing President Trump to act unilaterally on them.

Former top national security officials have historically maintained their security clearances so they can consult with their successors.

Page is the former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with Strzok.

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