Trump considering revoking security clearances from 6 ex

Charlene Craig
August 16, 2018

The White House on Monday said President Donald Trump was considering revoking the security clearances of former top officials who've been critical of him, prompting reactions from some of the ex-intelligence officials who were singled out.

While speaking on the matter, Sanders accused the officials, who are frequent critics of Trump's, of "politicizing" and "monetizing" their public service.

Trump's threat against Brennan and former United States officials James Comey, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Susan Rice and Andrew McCabe represented an extraordinary politicization of the USA government's security clearance process.

Some of the former officials on the list have made "baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia" that "provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence", Sanders said.

"If ... when someone applies for security clearance, are they going to add to the Standard Form 86 a pledge of allegiance to President Trump?".

Trump's decision could end up jeopardizing national security interests, said Evan Lesser, the president of ClearanceJobs, which helps the government find employees.

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But he says, "I don't know whether they've been abusing their security clearance at all".

In an unusual move, Paul wrote Monday morning that he would meet with Trump to discuss allegations that Brennan is "monetizing his security clearance" and "making millions of dollars divulging secrets to mainstream media".

Brennan was highly critical of Trump's widely-panned comments during the press conference in which he seemed to cast doubt on the us intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election. Rice called Trump's meeting with Putin a "historic mistake".

Ryan declined to say whether such a move would be appropriate, arguing that it's under the purview of the White House, not Congress.

People who work in national security jobs often can retain access to classified information after they leave government, subject to numerous same restrictions or investigations as government employees.

Melissa Schwartz, a spokesman for McCabe, tweeted that his security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated in March, "according to what we were told was Federal Bureau of Investigation policy".

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Brennan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr Hayden said on Twitter after the announcement that even if the president chose to take away his clearance, it would not change anything he says or writes.

Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist with the Federation of American Scientists, said Trump probably has the legal authority to do it, given his status as commander-in-chief.

At least two of the former officials, who have served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, do not now have security clearances: Comey and McCabe.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said punishing Trump's critics "would set a awful new precedent".

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