Brennan calls Trump action 'abuse of power' - 8/15/2018 7:51:35 PM

Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan

Former CIA director John Brennan called out President Donald Trump as a liar - and a possible traitor - in a scathing column published a day after the announcement that he had been stripped of his security clearance. Just hours before Trump issued the edict, the former Central Intelligence Agency chief had accused the Republican leader of failing "to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity".

Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Wednesday that security clearances shouldn't be taken away as a means of "punishing people who have criticized the President, or coercing others into silence". "So disheartening, so risky for our Nation", Brennan wrote.

A spokesman for Mr Brennan declined to immediately comment.

Brennan, in a tweet, said he would not back down.

Brennan responded Wednesday to the news that his clearance was revoked by describing the act as part of "a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics".

Mr Brennan told MSNBC that losing his security clearance is "an abuse of power".

"And I think people ought to think seriously about that", Clapper insisted.

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These include former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief James Comey, who was sacked previous year, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Sally Yates.

Bruce Ohr, a now serving leader within the Justice Department.

Later, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump drew a direct connection between the Russian Federation investigation and his decision, citing Mr Brennan as among those he held responsible for the investigation.

The decision comes as the White House is looking to turn the page on a news cycle that for several days has been dominated by startling allegations leveled against Trump by Omarosa Manigault-Newman, a former senior White House official and longtime Trump adviser.

In a highly unusually directive, Trump claimed that Brennan - a former station chief in Riyadh who rose to lead the formidable spy agency - had become "erratic".

Brennan has been deeply critical of Trump's conduct.

Still some have accused the president of using security clearance as a way of punishing former officials who are critical of him.

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Brennan suggested in a tweet that Trump could be impeached, saying his performance in Helsinki "rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors" and was "nothing short of treasonous".

Revoking a former official's security clearance can hinder their ability to get a job in a related market, but does not stop them from criticizing the administration publicly.

In a statement announcing his decision, Trump cited Brennan's "erratic conduct and behavior" and "frenzied commentary" attacking the White House as reasons to revoke his clearance.

"That conduct and behaviour has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that has been due to him".

The Republican senator also said Trump has "full authority" to revoke Brennan's security clearance.

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, both called Trump's move "banana republic" behavior.

In a subsequent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump made that crystal clear, saying he had to move against Brennan and others he holds responsible for the Russian Federation probe. Asked via email why the statement was initially dated July 26th but not released until mid-August, a White House official said "today is the date of the revocation".

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Brennan's assertion was "contradicted by at least two other senior officials in the intelligence community and all of the facts", Trump said.

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