WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is withdrawing the security clearance of the former Obama administration director of the CIA, John Brennan, a vocal critic of the president, the White House said Wednesday.
“Mr Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-level official with access to highly sensitive information, for making a series of unwarranted and scandalous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and the television about this government,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Brennan is deeply critical of Trump’s behavior, calling his performance in a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland “nothing less than treason.”
Sanders said the security clearances of the other current and formers officials are also “under consideration.”
They include former FBI Director, James Comey, James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser, Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.
Also on the list: fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, a senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
At least two of the former officials, Comey and McCabe, not at this time have security clearances.
Experts have said that the stripping of a statement in reaction to the public criticism might have been of an unprecedented politicisation of the clearance.
Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are usually allowed to keep their statements, at least for a certain period of time, so that they can be in a position to advise their successors and to keep track of certain tasks.