Trump considering revoking ex-Obama officials' clearance

24 July, 2018, 00:29 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • President Donald Trump shakes hands with James Comey director of the FBI during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House on Jan. 22 2017

President Donald Trump wants to remove the security clearances of several former intelligence chiefs and others, press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Monday.

The No. 2 Republican, Sen. Comey and McCabe are the only two who also worked under the Trump administration before being fired.

The president doesn't like that they are "politicizing" the agencies.

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, says revoking the clearances would be "ironic" considering the questions raised about granting them to Trump's family. "Paul's suggestion and call for the removal of former director Brennan's security clearance?" the reporter asked.

Ereli also probed why Brennan's scathing tweet criticizing Trumps' meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin could potentially encourage retaliation from Trump.

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Mrs Sanders said that "accusing the president of the United States of treasonous activity. when you have the nation's deepest, most sacred secrets at your hands" was something that made Mr Trump "very concerned". But he objected to any White House suggestion that he had mishandled classified information or done anything that would be grounds for revoking his security clearance.

Speaking to CNN after the press conference, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the president has the authority to revoke the clearances, but that doing so because of his statements was "a very, very petty thing to do" and an "abuse of the system".

Melissa Schwartz, a spokesperson for McCabe, wrote on Twitter: "Andrew McCabe's security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was Federal Bureau of Investigation policy". It's frankly more of a courtesy that former senior officials get the security clearance. "The fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with no legitimacy".

"You would think the White House would check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps...", she wrote on Twitter. If Trump did revoke his security clearance, Hayden said, it "won't have any effect on what I say or write".

Critics blasted the White House, with Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono writing on Twitter, "This is what totalitarianism looks like".

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