Former CIA Director John Brennan hit back at President Donald Trump on Wednesday after the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, announced that Trump had chose to revoke Brennan's security clearance.
For decades, former national security officials have retained classified clearance in part so that they can be consulted on closely held information by officials in ensuing administrations. In justifying his decision, Trump cited misleading testimony Brennan gave to Congress more than a year ago and more recently his regular presence on TV and Twitter criticizing Trump.
Brennan, who spent 25 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, concluded: "My principles are worth far more than clearances". "I think people ought to think seriously about that".
Jordan was referencing former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.
With the retaliatory revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance, the White House inadvertently revealed its crisis-management messaging strategy - keep big announcements in a pocket to lob later like news flash bombs.
Most of those targeted late on August 15 were top intelligence and law enforcement officials from the administrations of former President Barack Obama and other previous presidents who have spoken out against what they see as mistakes and abuses by Trump.
Paul told reporters this week that Russian officials refused to acknowledge interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign and he said the US should stop expecting the country to confess.
A mini-flap developed following Sanders' briefing when White House reporters noticed the July 26 date on the president's statement.
"When they had these security clearances. they didn't stop the Russians, they didn't stop the Red Chinese [or the] Iranians", he said.
Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said he has not accessed classified information since leaving his position in January 2017.
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Brennan's editorial was published after he vowed in a series of tweets overnight to continue to criticize Trump.
"No. If there were others that weren't, that we deemed necessary, we would certainly take a look and review those as well", Ms. Sanders said when asked if Mr. Trump is going after his political opponents.
At least two of the former officials, Comey and McCabe, do not now have security clearances. But, again, there may be something I don't know.
In his op-ed, Brennan pointed to Trump's remarks as a candidate in 2016, when he jokingly asked Russian Federation to hack and find the missing 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's private email server.
"Public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking head fees", Paul tweeted, questioning whether Brennan was "making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks" on Trump.
There is no requirement that an American president has to notify top intelligence officials of his plan to revoke a security clearance.
Security clearances, their issuance, revocations, and standards regarding same, are exclusively Executive functions, allowing President Trump to act unilaterally on them.
In a naked jab at the Trump administration, Michael Hayden tweeted a photo in June of a Nazi death camp with the caption: "Other governments have separated mothers and children".
McLaughlin said it is critical for intelligence professional, especially those still in their jobs, to be able to deliver unpleasant news to a president, and he expressed hope that Trump's action does not have a chilling effect on those who brief the president.