The Trump administration has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, according to a statement from the president.
“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. Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I’ve decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said reading Trump’s statement.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 15, 2018
“Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy. Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information.”
“First, at this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations from Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” Sanders continued.
“Second, that conduct and behavior has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him. Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.”
As one example, Trump’s statement referred to when Brennan lied in 2014 about the CIA spying on Congress.
Additionally, Sanders pointed out Brennan also lied to Congress under oath last year, claiming the intelligence community did not utilize the infamous Steele Dossier to secure FISA warrants in the surveillance of Trump campaign officials in 2016.
Sanders also said Brennan’s “unfounded and outrageous allegations” and “wild outbursts” about Trump disqualifies him from retaining access to classified information which he “leverages” on MSNBC, where he now works as a commentator.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Your fear of exposure is palpable. Your desperation even more so. When will those of conscience among your Cabinet, inner circle, and Republican leadership realize that your unprincipled and unethical behavior as well as your incompetence are seriously damaging our Nation. https://t.co/n6ivjOYxzo
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) June 23, 2018
The announcement comes the day after Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani warned Brennan may face a grand jury for “quarterbacking” the phony Russia investigation.
“The guy running it is Brennan. And he should be in front of a grand jury,” Giuliani said on Hannity.
“Unless he’s the biggest idiot intelligence agent that ever existed—although he never really did much intelligence work—it’s false. You could look at it [the dossier] and laugh at it.”
Senator Rand Paul praised Trump’s decision Wednesday on Twitter.
“I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance. I urged the President to do this,” Paul said.
I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance. I urged the President to do this. Read more here: https://t.co/SAQNTJ1UAn
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 15, 2018
Brennan later responded on Twitter, claiming the revoking of his clearance is meant to “suppress” his “freedom of speech.”
“This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,” he tweeted.
This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent. https://t.co/TNzOxhP9ux
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 15, 2018
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