Ex-CIA director's security clearance revoked

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, reading a statement from President Donald Trump, announced that former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance has been revoked. CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 10:22 AM
Updated: Aug 16, 2018 10:35 AM

President Donald Trump drew a connection in a new interview between his decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance with his involvement in the investigation into Russian election interference.

The comments, published in an interview in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday night, are in contrast to the White House's claim earlier in the day that the decision was not politically motivated but based on a view that Brennan, a harsh Trump critic, posed a security risk. Trump's remarks also raise the question of whether he is retaliating against those who investigated whether his campaign colluded with Moscow during the 2016 election, something he has repeatedly denied.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham. And these people led it!" Trump said in the interview, a full transcript of which was not immediately published by the newspaper. "So I think it's something that had to be done."

Trump cited Brennan as one of several national security officials he holds responsible for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference. Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama, was one of the intelligence chiefs who signed off on the intelligence community's January 2017 assessment that Russia interfered with the intent to help Trump and to hurt Hillary Clinton.

Trump has cast doubt on the US intelligence community's assessment and whether Russia was behind the election meddling.

Trump's decision to revoke a former top intelligence chief's clearance marked an unprecedented use of a president's authority over the classification system to strike back at one of his prominent critics.

Brennan is the first former national security official to see his security clearance revoked since the White House announced last month that Trump was considering taking that action against Brennan and other vocal critics.

Others on the list include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA director and National Security Agency chief Michael Hayden, and former FBI Director James Comey.

"I don't trust many of those people on that list," Trump said Wednesday. "I think that they're very duplicitous. I think they're not good people."

The White House did not provide evidence that Brennan revealed national secrets or disclosed classified information, and did not immediately explain why Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was not among those whose access was being reviewed.

In an interview on CNN's "New Day" Thursday, Clapper called Trump's drawn connection from the Russia investigation to revoking Brennan's clearance a "candid admission" and "very disturbing."

"I find it very disturbing that here we were in compliance with a request of the then-President of the United States to put into one document our insight and knowledge of the profound threat that Russia posed to this country," Clapper said. "And now, apparently, we're being punished for this. John (Brennan) already has been."

CNN national security analyst Lisa Monaco, a former Obama Homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, echoed Clapper's remarks, saying on "New Day" that Trump's interview revealed "a stunningly candid and disturbing admission on the President's part."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154411

Reported Deaths: 3836
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10332104
Hinds10190199
Harrison7244111
Jackson6521124
Rankin5805103
Lee523695
Madison4964107
Forrest388286
Jones367788
Lauderdale3575147
Lafayette334952
Washington3241108
Lamar296650
Oktibbeha251362
Lowndes243864
Bolivar242984
Panola229653
Neshoba2241118
Marshall221250
Leflore207791
Monroe203978
Pontotoc202929
Lincoln194865
Sunflower192555
Warren178757
Tate177051
Union171026
Copiah167040
Pike164758
Yazoo158840
Scott157930
Itawamba156135
Alcorn154828
Pearl River154168
Coahoma151943
Simpson151953
Prentiss149531
Adams144451
Grenada142845
Leake139444
Holmes132361
Tippah128030
Covington127939
George126425
Winston124526
Hancock123640
Wayne120623
Marion118646
Attala117534
Tishomingo110842
Chickasaw109032
Newton108029
Tallahatchie97727
Clay93427
Clarke93053
Jasper84822
Stone80015
Calhoun78113
Walthall77229
Montgomery75825
Carroll74015
Lawrence73414
Smith72816
Noxubee72517
Yalobusha72328
Perry68126
Tunica62319
Greene61222
Claiborne58916
Jefferson Davis58817
Amite55814
Humphreys54719
Benton49918
Quitman4977
Webster46414
Kemper44718
Wilkinson40422
Jefferson36411
Franklin3535
Choctaw3507
Sharkey32317
Issaquena1204
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 249524

Reported Deaths: 3578
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson33064500
Mobile19951362
Madison13596148
Tuscaloosa13246154
Montgomery12435236
Shelby1061677
Baldwin889098
Lee781466
Morgan686150
Etowah643966
Calhoun6430121
Marshall635355
Houston537738
DeKalb492236
Cullman451542
Limestone433345
St. Clair432555
Lauderdale422354
Elmore412964
Walker3710111
Talladega359354
Jackson329823
Colbert329642
Blount299740
Autauga278042
Franklin256434
Coffee248315
Dale236254
Chilton227438
Dallas226832
Russell22383
Covington220434
Escambia198931
Tallapoosa184391
Chambers177950
Pike159914
Clarke159819
Marion143636
Winston135123
Lawrence131636
Pickens125718
Geneva12438
Marengo123124
Bibb119617
Barbour117811
Butler117842
Randolph104921
Cherokee103424
Hale97831
Fayette92516
Washington92219
Clay92024
Henry8756
Lowndes80229
Monroe79011
Cleburne77814
Macon74522
Crenshaw72030
Bullock70219
Perry6906
Lamar6898
Conecuh68814
Wilcox64218
Sumter58622
Greene42818
Choctaw42713
Coosa3544
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