“As the head of the executive branch and the commander and chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it,” Trump said in a statement, read by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Wednesday’s press briefing.
Trump also said he is still reviewing access to classified information for several former intelligence officials, including James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr.
Each of those individuals has made statements critical of the president in the past.
Per CNN, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was not consulted about the revocation.
Some will say this is petty and peevish — to remove the security clearances of your critics is childish retaliation. Others will say it is authoritarianism run amok. Yes, to both of these. But it is also dangerous. Brennan needs to be kept up to speed because he often advises people — both future presidents as well as those in Congress. This is a terrible move, and Trump is in for more blowback than I think he expects.
There is no allegation, nor could there be, that Brennan or anyone else misused or leaked classified information, or monetized his ability to access classified information. But Rand Paul brought it up last month…
It really had nothing to do with Brennan monetizing his access, because look at the others on the list. It’s all Trump-Russia people.
This is Brennan’s latest tweet prior to this news
It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation. https://t.co/eI9HaCec1m— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 14, 2018
And Brennan responds….
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. https://t.co/TNzOxhP9ux— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 15, 2018