Trump may revoke clearances of ex-officials who have slammed him

first_img“The security clearance has nothing to do with how I or any of us feel about the president,” Clapper said in an interview with CNN, adding that he does not get security briefings and does not have access to classified information.He also said that it’s “more of a courtesy” for former senior intelligence officials to receive a security clearance and that he hasn’t had “an occasion to use it.” There is also a formal notification when clearance is being suspended, Clapper said.“I guess legally the president has that prerogative,” Clapper said. “He can suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit, and if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well, I think that’s a terrible precedent and a very sad commentary. And it’s an abuse of the system.”Sanders said the White House has not considered additional actions against those who might have their clearances revoked.When asked whether the president was punishing those ex-officials for speaking out, Sanders said: “The president doesn’t like that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances.”“Accusing the president of the United States of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance, when you’re the person that holds the nation’s deepest, most sacred secrets at your hands, and you go out and make false accusations against the president of the United States, he thinks that is something to be very concerned with,” Sanders added. President Donald Trump is seeking to revoke the security clearance of several ex-government officials who served under President Barack Obama, a move seemingly targeting officials who have been critical of Trump’s administration.The White House is eyeing clearances held by former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former NSA Director Michael Hayden, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year.The move comes after Senator Rand Paul tweeted Monday about speaking with Trump about removing Brennan’s security clearance. Fox News host Tucker Carlson also reported last week that the former CIA director still has his clearance and called for it to be removed. Also On POLITICO Trump advisers quietly begin thinking about ‘life after Sarah’ By Andrew Restuccia and Nancy Cook How US intelligence agencies can find out what Trump told Putin By Josh Meyer Prior to Sanders’ announcement Monday, the House judiciary committee chairman, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), had called on Brennan to testify on Capitol Hill about his role in the investigation of Russian meddling during the 2016 election.Goodlatte said Sunday it’s “extremely disturbing“ to see ex-officials such as Brennan and Comey “express the kind of extreme bias that they’ve shown now.”Some Republican lawmakers, however, are unsure whether there has been any abuse of security clearance.“Some former intelligence officials have obviously donned the uniform of the opposition team … and I can understand his aggravation. But I will wait to see what he does,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, an intelligence committee member. “I don’t know whether they’ve been abusing their security clearance at all. That’s a very serious allegation.”Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House minority leader, tweeted on Monday afternoon: “Trump is politicizing America’s national security by seeking to revoke security clearances of former officials who have spoken up for our democracy & spoken out against his corrupt & severely misguided actions. This is indefensible.“Burgess Everett and Stephanie Murray contributed reporting. It also follows a week of fallout stemming from Trump’s summit with Vladimir Putin, in which he appeared to side with the Russian president over his own intelligence officers on whether Moscow interfered in the 2016 election. Clapper and Brennan have been particularly critical of that performance — Brennan called it “nothing short of treasonous” — even after the president tried to walk back his assertions and reaffirm his support for U.S. intelligence agencies.Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that Trump believes the former officials “politicized” their positions by accusing Trump of inappropriate contact with Russia, and she said in that some cases they “monetized their clearances,” without clarifying what she meant.“Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate,” Sanders said. “The fact that people with security clearances are making baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing.Brennan, Comey and Clapper have been vocal critics of Trump, often making headlines over their displeasure with the president’s actions.Comey told Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and editor-in-chief of Lawfare, that he does not currently have a security clearance. Hayden tweeted on Monday afternoon: “I dont go back for classified briefings (although they occasionally ask me in to offer a view on something). Won’t have any impact on what I say or write.“Several minutes after Huckabee announced that the White House was seeking to revoke his clearance, Clapper on Monday called it “a petty way of retribution” for speaking out against Trump and said that “it’s an abuse of the system.”last_img read more

A question of currency

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