Heres a graphic breakdown of how the system works:
Here's a graphic breakdown of how the system works:
Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the announcement during the White House press briefing on Wednesday. YouTube
- Former CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday that President Donald Trump's decision to revoke his security clearance was "part of a broader effort ... to suppress freedom of speech &punishcritics."
Thepresidentalsosaidhewasconsideringrevokingtheclearanceofseveralotherformerintelligenceandlaw-enforcementofficials—manyofwhomhavebeencriticalofhim— in the coming weeks.
Those people include:
- James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence.
- James Comey, the former FBI director.
- Michael Hayden, the former director of the National Security Agency.
- Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general.
- Susan Rice, the former national security adviser.
- Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director.
- Peter Strzok, a former FBI agent.
- Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer.
- Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official.
'This is an Official Enemies List'
Former intelligence officials often maintain security clearance in case they need to be consulted on various matters pertaining to national security.
"If he chooses to do it for political reasons, I think that's a terrible precedent, and it's a very sad commentary, and it's an abuse of the system," Clapper said last month when it first emerged that Trump was weighing revoking the clearances of former officials.
Hayden seemed to be less unsettled by the revelation, tweeting that he doesn't go back for classified briefings and that such a move wouldn't "have any effect on what I say or write."
Meanwhile, Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare said Comey told him he doesn't even have a security clearance to revoke and that he was "read out" when he left the government, which he said is normal practice.
And a spokeswoman for McCabe, Melissa Schwartz, tweeted last month: "Andrew McCabe's security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps."
After Sanders announced Trump's decision on Wednesday, Michael Bromwich, McCabe's lawyer who was formerly a Justice Department inspector general, tweeted that the move "has zero to do with national security."
"This is an Official Enemies List," Bromwich added. "The offense: exercising 1st Amendment rights."
Other former members of the intelligence community, though not named by the Trump administration on Monday, were also evidently infuriated by this announcement.
John McLaughlin, a former deputy director of the CIA, tweeted that the White House's threat was "nonsense" and "something Putin would do."
"Clearances are taken away for security violations, usually after an investigation," McLaughlin said. "These people do not talk classified publicly.
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