Trump revokes security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director and frequent critic

Trump revokes security clearance for former CIA Director Brennan citing 'erratic behavior'

A day after the former Central Intelligence Agency director fired off a tweet criticizing President Trump for calling Omarosa Manigault Newman a "dog", the White House said Trump revoked the security clearance for John Brennan. "The larger issue here, to me, throughout, has been infringement on First Amendment rights, and I think people ought to think seriously about that".

"It's detrimental to national security, and what does Brennan gain from this?"

"Mr. Trump, then a presidential candidate, publicly called upon Russian Federation to find the missing emails of (Hillary) Clinton", Brennan wrote.

The move to pull his security clearance prompted immediate outrage, including from Brennan himself.

It is nearly certain that the Trump administration is conducting a counterintelligence investigation of Brennan to ascertain if - or more likely, how much - he leaked classified information.

Mr Brennan described Mr Trump's performance after July's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as being "nothing short of treasonous". Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe this year after FBI disciplinary officials and the Justice Department concluded he hadn't been candid during an inspector general investigation.

"No. If there were others that weren't, that we deemed necessary, we would certainly take a look and review those as well", Ms. Sanders said when asked if Mr. Trump is going after his political opponents.

He accused that Trump's "claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash". Some have been publicly critical of the president, while others are linked to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference, which Trump calls "a witch hunt".

On Wednesday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that Brennan would have his security clearance pulled due to a "series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration". The President's move is the second major sign that Brennan is about to be hoist on his own petard.

Clapper, reacting on CNN, called Trump's actions "unprecedented", but said he didn't plan to stop speaking out.

James Clapper, former USA director of national intelligence.

Clearance to classified information is granted based on a "need to know".

Traditionally, former officials maintain their security clearance to advise their successors, but Trump argued there is little utility in allowing Brennan to keep his clearance. Former high-ranking security and intelligence officials typically retain their clearance in order to assist those still working for the government.

Now, the White House has indicated other Trump critics may soon face similar action.

On Twitter he added: "This action is part of a broader effort by Mr Trump to suppress free speech and punish critics". "It feels very much like a banana republic kind of thing".

The White House has been fending off criticism from former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, who has made various claims about her time working for the president - including that she has tapes of conversations in the West Wing.

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