James Clapper: Trump revoking our security clearances would be 'very, very petty'

Thursday, 16 Aug, 2018

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he met with President Donald Trump Monday afternoon and asked him to revoke the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, who has been a harsh critic of Trump on Russian Federation and other issues.

If Trump decides to revoke the clearances, the former officials, many of whom spent decades in government or military service, or both, would no longer be permitted to review classified material.

"President Trump should get his own staff's security clearances in order rather than engaging in crass political retribution against former officials", Cummings said in statement.

Another White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday that the president had "begun the mechanism to remove security clearances from certain individuals", but later clarified that he had misspoken.

Former top officials often maintain security clearance in case they need to be consulted on various matters pertaining to national security.

Soon after Sanders' remarks, Clapper responded in a CNN interview, calling the potential revocation "a very, very petty thing to do".

There is a formal process by which clearances can be revoked, Clapper said, but it's predicated on wrongdoing or other set procedures.

House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed President Donald Trump's plan to revoke security clearances from top former national security officials as just a mild form of "trolling", rather than a serious attack on dissent.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., noted the list of those named by the White House "exactly coincides with those who've been publicly critical of the president".

Brennan was highly critical of Trump's widely-panned comments during the press conference in which he seemed to cast doubt on the USA intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election.

Brennan had called Trump's press conference with Putin "nothing short of treasonous".

I don't go back for classified briefings.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump was "politicizing American'snational security".

Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for McCabe, tweeted that his security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, per Federal Bureau of Investigation policy.

Brennan and Rice did not have an immediate comment. In the daily briefing, Sarah Sanders said that, yes, he is looking at getting Brennan's clearance revoked.

Standing beside Putin, Trump did little to counter the Russian leader's denials and show support for the United States intelligence community's findings that Russia meddled in the election.

Security clearances allow U.S. government officials access to classified documents and files, and they are often prerequisites for government employment. "Won't have any effect on what I say or write".

The government can shut off or take away clearances for people who are suspected of being security risks, or are at risk of being compromised, or who are involved with alleged criminal activity.

Security clearances are also valuable, financially, in the private sector - meaning the president's threat included a potential financial penalty against these people, as well as the other negative consequences losing a clearance would bring.

Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the idea "ridiculous".