Trump revokes former CIA chief Brennan's security clearance

Xinhua
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of the president over Russia.
Xinhua
AFP

In this file photo taken on May 23, 2017, former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about Russian actions during the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. 

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of the president over Russia.

Brennan has used his status "to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations" and "wild outbursts on the Internet and television about this administration," Trump said in the statement read by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Trump also announced in the statement that he is considering whether several other Obama-era officials should have their security clearance withdrawn as well.

Brennan responded to Trump's decision via Twitter, saying: "It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out."

"My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent," he added.

Former leaders of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to maintain access to classified information, both as a professional courtesy and so that they can consult with successors on certain national security issues, according to local media reports.

"Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan's continued access to classified information," Sanders said in reading Trump's statement.

House Democratic Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's decision "a stunning abuse of power" and an attempt to distract from the president's many scandals.

Trump announced in July he was reviewing the security clearances of a number of former high profile officials, including Brennan, former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.


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