Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director

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US President Donald Trump is revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision which sees the president following through on his recent threat.

Ms Sanders cited Mr Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behaviour” and accused him of “lying” and “wild outbursts”.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reads a statement from Mr Trump announcing he will remove John Brennan’s security clearance (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Mr Brennan has been deeply critical of Mr Trump’s conduct, calling his performance at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland “nothing short of treasonous”.

Ms Sanders said other former intelligence officials’ security clearances are also “currently under review”.

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 Mr Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.

Also on the list are fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

At least two of the former officials, Mr Comey and Mr McCabe, do not currently have security clearances.

Ms Sanders said: “Mr Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration.”

Experts have said that stripping a security clearance in response to public criticism would be an unprecedented politicisation of the clearance process.

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period, so they can be in a position to advise their successors and to hold certain jobs.

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