Trump Seeks To Yank Security Clearance Of His Critics

President Trump Is Considering Revoking Security Clearances of His Critics

Other officials have tweeted their disagreement with Trump's revocation.

Sanders accused those former officials, most of whom have served both Democratic and Republican presidents in various jobs, of having "politicized and in some cases monetized their public service".

"The fact that people with clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence", Sanders added.

CNN reported earlier on Monday that revoking security clearances from past officials is an unusual step.

"Trump is revoking these clearances not because they did anything wrong or can't be trusted, but because they disagree with him", Sipher said.

Typically, visiting heads of state are asked to travel to the Capitol for a ceremonial visit, including a speech before a joint meeting of the House and the Senate.

"I just can't imagine that you want to go down that road", he said, adding: "If we start interjecting politics into this, our country's going to be significantly weakened". "If I were to speak out at this point, I would lose a substantial portion of my income". Officials can maintain their highest level clearance, but that is not always the case.

Gidley told a reporter, "What I meant to say was it's being looked at".

"And I don't get the briefings, I don't have access to any classified information", Clapper said, describing the continuing clearance as a "courtesy" for former officials. But he objected to any White House suggestion that he had done anything that would be grounds for revoking his clearance.

Brennan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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More than 4 million Americans hold some security clearance and entire industries - supporting the Defense Department, the intelligence community, the nuclear energy infrastructure and more - are based hiring such employees to do contract work for the government.

Hayden tweeted that losing a security clearance would not affect him much.

A spokeswoman for McCabe, Melissa Schwartz, tweeted that his "security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated (in March), according to what we were told was Federal Bureau of Investigation policy".

Others, like Hayden, say they no longer receive classified briefings and don't intend to change their behavior as a result of the threat.

Sanders's statement came after Sen. Rand Paul, who wrote on Twitter that he planned to ask about revoking Brennan's clearance when he met with Trump on Monday.

Clapper confirmed to CNN last week that he and other intelligence officials briefed Trump on Russian President Vladimir Putin's ordering of cyberattacks to attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election.

In a tweet shortly after Sanders' announcement, Paul appeared to take credit for the president's decision.

"He's also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe", she said.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said punishing Trump's critics "would set a awful new precedent".

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