Tuesday Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (WI) was asked his thoughts on President Trump’s looking to revoke several former CIA and FBI directors security clearances, the announcement was made Monday by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press briefing.
In response to the question Ryan replied, “I think he’s just trolling people, honestly,” he goes on to say it a couple of more times.
As was reported @ The News Blender on Monday, those individuals being looked at by the admin are:
Former FBI director James Comey, who Benjamin Wittes quotes as saying, “Nope, there is nothing for the POTUS to revoke. Wittes adds that Comey says he was read out when he left the government as per normal practice. Wittes goes on to Tweet, that Comey also turned down temporary clearance from the IG to read the classified annex to the IG’s report.
He even recently declined a temporary clearance from the IG to read the classified annex to the IG’s recent report. He didn’t want to see any classified material lest the president accuse him of leaking it. 2/2
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) July 23, 2018
Former CIA Director Michael Hayden under President George W. Bush, said, via email to CBS News, “I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write.”
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe whose spokesperson, Melissa Schwartz, tweeted on Monday that McCabe’s clearance was “deactivated,” when he was terminated.
Andrew McCabe's security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps… https://t.co/ZOKJDChpeP
— Melissa Schwartz (@MSchwartz3) July 23, 2018
Former director of national intelligence James Clapper to CNN’s Brooke Baldwin said he found the move to be petty, “very, very petty thing to do.”
He added when appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room, “If … when someone applies for security clearance, are they going to add to the Standard Form 86 a pledge of allegiance to President Trump? Unswerving, uncompromising, complete loyalty to the President as a new criteria for a clearance? That’s a pretty chilling thing.”
When appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Clapper clarified his earlier remarks, “I didn’t know what to make of it at first and was a bit speechless, to tell you the truth. I think after having reflected on it, to me, I think this is a real abuse of the clearance system, just to use it to attack political opponents or people that have been critical of the President.” He added, “It has all kinds of First Amendment implications, which are deeply disturbing.”
The two others that were named, former CIA Director John Brennan did not offer comment, nor did former national security adviser Susan Rice.
CBS News’ Jeff Pegues notes, that Brennan, Clapper, and Comey, aren’t currently being briefed on the Russian Investigation.
House Speaker Ryan’s statement
"I think he's trolling people, honestly," Speaker Ryan says when asked about Pres. Trump's threat to revoke security clearances from former intelligence officials. https://t.co/8WnllcK2Kv pic.twitter.com/HsgcatkotD
— ABC News (@ABC) July 24, 2018