US President Donald Trump threatens to strip critics of security clearances

Marsha Scott
July 26, 2018

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that he thinks President Trump is just "trolling people" by looking into revoking security clearances for top Obama administration national security officials.

"What else might the president decide we're not entitled to?"

The wielding of presidential power to punish prominent critics would take this White House perilously closer to potential abuses of executive authority - perhaps moving it onto territory not tested by any commander in chief since Richard Nixon. Rice called Trump's meeting with Putin a "historic mistake".

The announcement came hours after Sen.

Those former intelligence officials maintain top-level security clearances in case they need to be consulted on issues they oversaw when they served in government, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell reported. Republican Congressman of Virginia Scott Taylor tweeted, "If someone with clearance has done wrong, hold them accountable". One of the few who publicly sided with him last week, Senator Rand Paul, said he met with Trump on Monday and asked him to revoke Brennan's security clearance.

While standing next to Putin, Trump last week openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow tried to tip the scales of the 2016 election in his favor and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.

On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the former officials could lose security clearance over political statements.

Employers seeking to hire retiring government officials can request that their security clearances be transferred to their new job.

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Brennan, in a tweet, said Trump's "press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous".

At least two of the former officials, McCabe and Comey, do not now have security clearances.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News.

In a more sinister sense, the desire to censure former intelligence officials also fits with the President's long obvious penchant for testing the boundaries of his power - for instance in breaking down traditional walls between the FBI and the White House created to insulate the bureau for political interference. They can - and I have seen them up close - offer strategies that worked well and candidly discuss mistakes they have made.

He said he was not aware of any past case in which a person had their clearance revoked by the president.

Brennan, Clapper, Hayden and Rice have all been critical of Trump's foreign policy, including the USA president's embrace of Russian President Vladimir at a summit in Helsinki. "He's been caught lying multiple times in his government career. but Obama protected Brennan", she said, adding Brennan lied again a year ago about the Steele dossier not being used as a basis for the investigation of the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation.

Asked if he was comfortable with Mr. Trump once again sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the White House said Mr. Trump asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite him for a visit in the fall, Ryan the Congress certainly "will not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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