by Daveda Gruber:
On Monday White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that President Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of several top Obama-era intelligence and law enforcement officials. They were accused of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service.
She made the announcement at Monday’s press briefing, after Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky., called on the president to specifically revoke Trump critic and former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance.
Sanders said Trump is considering it and is also looking into the clearances for other former officials and Trump critics. People mentioned are former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden who had also worked under President George W. Bush.
Sanders said Trump is “exploring mechanisms” to remove the security clearances “because [the former officials] politicize and in some cases actually monetize their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.”
Sanders also said that their clearances effectively give “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”
Sanders said, “When you have the highest level of security clearance…when you have the nation’s secrets at hand, and go out and make false [statements], the president feels that’s something to be very concerned with.”
She was also asked if former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden would have their security clearances revoked. She said she did not have any further information.
The topic came into the spotlight on Monday morning, with Paul’s tweets against the former CIA director.
Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018
Brennan, the former CIA director, has been a consistent and harsh critic of the president. He tweeted out:
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Brennan is, by far, not the only former intelligence official to join the media world. In April, Comey began his own media blitz promoting his new memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.” Hayden and Rice also frequently make media appearances.
On Twitter, just minutes after the announcement from the White House briefing, Hayden tweeted:
I dont go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) July 23, 2018
Okay, who would have thought that these people still had clearance for anything? It’s time to get them out for good!