President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan via Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who informed the press and the nation of this development at the start of the Daily White House Briefing.
CNN — Sanders opening statement via CNN, “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.”
She continues to read from the President’s statement, saying that due to Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior,” the President feels the risks of allowing Brennan to continue having clearance “outweigh,” any benefit the administrations officials “might glean,” from Brennan.
Continuing to read the statement she adds the President feels, Brennan has “pushed the limits of any professional courtesy,” the statement from President Trump also “calls into question,” Brennan’s “objectivity and credibility.”
The President’s statement concludes that Brennan has “recently leveraged his status,” spreading what President Trump calls, “increasingly frenzied commentary.”
She finishes the President’s announcement by saying Brennan’s behavior on TV, and the internet has called into question if it’s appropriate for any former director or agency member to maintain security clearance, once they have,”transitioned into highly political positions.”
CNN reports that National Intelligence Director Dan Coats was not aware of the announcement nor was he consulted about the decision.
The President is also looking into revoking several other former, plus one current employee’s security clearances.
At this time it is not clear how the move to revoke security clearance of Bruce Ohr, would work, as he is still employed at the DOJ.
After the announcement James Clapper called CNN and reacted to the news, “So will the republic stand or fall on whether John [Brennan] retains his access to classified information, or mine or any others that were named? Of course not. The larger issue here, to me, throughout has been an infringement of First Amendment rights. And I think people ought to think seriously about that.”
Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden, who now works for CNN as a national security analyst reacted to the news, “If I were to lose my clearance, it would have a marginal impact on the work I do. For example I am on the proxy board of an American subsidiary of an Irish company to ensure that in doing its work it respects the classification rules of the United States.
If my memory is correct, I visited the agency once to get a background briefing on Africa about nine years ago. All my other visits were either to attend a ceremony, at the request of the agency or to research my book (every word of which had to be cleared by CIA and NSA).
With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write.”
Attorney for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe weigh in via Twitter
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For What It’s Worth, The News Blender reported last month, when Sanders first made the announcement of the possibility that security clearances might be revoked, that several of the people listed, already do not have security clearances to revoke, such as former FBI director James Comey and former FBI director Andrew McCabe.