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Trump Wants to Yank Clearance for Comey, Other Intel Critics

It would be an unprecedented move
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 23, 2018 6:00 PM CDT
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday, July 23, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser)

President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of six former Obama-era officials who have been critical of his administration, the AP reports. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday the president is "exploring the mechanisms" to strip clearance from former CIA Director John Brennan as well as five other former top national security officials: former FBI Director Jim Comey, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Susan Rice and Andrew McCabe. The comments came hours after Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tweeted that he was planning to talk to Trump about revoking Brennan's clearance. Brennan had offered particularly scathing criticism of the president's performance at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.

Ex-CIA directors and other top national security officials typically keep their clearances, at least for a period, so they can advise their successors. Sanders accused the officials of having "politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances" by "making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia." Brennan had called Trump's press conference with Putin "nothing short of treasonous." While standing next to Putin, Trump had openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 US election to help Trump and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.

(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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