Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper recently said during an appearance on CNN that former CIA Director John Brennan’s rhetoric is becoming an issue “in and of itself.”
President Trump posted a tweet on Tuesday morning in response to that remark.
“Even James Clapper has admonished John Brennan for having gone totally off the rails. Maybe Clapper is being nice to me so he doesn’t lose his Security Clearance for lying to Congress!” Trump wrote.
Even James Clapper has admonished John Brennan for having gone totally off the rails. Maybe Clapper is being nice to me so he doesn’t lose his Security Clearance for lying to Congress!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
The controversy started after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders opened Wednesday’s press briefing by reading a statement from the president.
In addition to announcing the decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance, the statement accused Brennan of leveraging “his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations…about this administration.”
Sanders noted that Trump was also “evaluating action with respect to the following individuals: James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.”
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“Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated,” the statement added.
Brennan, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration, soon after said in a tweet, “This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.”