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Former CIA Chief: My Security Revocation is Trump Attempt to Silence Critics

Former CIA Chief: My Security Revocation is Trump Attempt to Silence Critics

Senators' reactions to President Donald Trump revoking former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan's security clearance mostly broke down along party lines, with Democrats condemning and Republicans defending him.

Brennan has been deeply critical of Trump's conduct, calling his performance at a press conference last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland "nothing short of treasonous".

The Republican president said in a statement on Wednesday that he revoked Brennan's authorization for making what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" about his administration and was evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials.

Trump said he does not trust "many of those people on that list" and does not think they are "good people".

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In response to the White House's move, Brennan tweeted that he "will not relent". "I don't know why they give them security clearances anyway other than maybe a transition period", Shelby added.

In announcing Comey's firing, the White House initially cited the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's handling of the probe into Democratic rival Clinton's emails, seizing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's decision to divulge details of the probe to the public during her campaign against Trump.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Wednesday that his decision - and threat to revoke other clearances - stemmed from his frustrations with the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and potential collusion with his campaign. Bottom row from left are former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper.

Former high-ranking officials typically retain their security clearance when they leave office so their successors can consult with them on sensitive issues. U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro said Mueller should also investigate the issue now that Trump has tied it to the Russian Federation probe.

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The press secretary insisted that this wasn't a dictatorial attempt to silence a critic, but rather in the interest of national security because Brennan has a blabbermouth.

At least two of the former officials, Comey and McCabe, do not now have security clearances, and none of the eight receive intelligence briefings.

"I think it is pretty clear this is a president who goes out of his way to punish his political adversaries".

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, says Trump's move is a "stunning abuse of power".

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"I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency", McRaven wrote.


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