Trump Mulls Pulling Security Clearances from Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Clapper, Rice and Hayden


White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Monday that President Donald Trump is “exploring” revoking the security clearances of former intelligence and law enforcement officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, saying they have “politicized” and in some cases “monetized” the benefit of their public service.

Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul raised the issue of Brennan’s security clearance being pulled, writing in a Monday morning tweet, “Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?”

The lawmaker followed up that tweet with another announcing, “Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!”

Last week in a Twitter post, Brennan labeled Trump’s performance at his joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, “treasonous,” adding it rose to the level of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” In other words, the Obama administration CIA director was saying Trump should be impeached.

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Brennan — who was hired by MSNBC/NBC News in February as a military and intelligence analyst — also attacked the president on MSNBC, calling on Trump’s national security team to resign in protest.

In a subsequent appearance on NBC’s “Today,” Brennan once again accused Trump of being “treasonous” by “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”

Sanders was asked at Monday’s press briefing whether Trump was considering Paul’s suggestion to pull Brennan’s security clearance.

“Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he is also looking into the clearances of (James) Comey, (James) Clapper, (Michael) Hayden, (Susan) Rice and (Andrew) McCabe,” Sanders responded.

“The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances,” she continued.

“Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate, and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” Sanders stated.

Clapper — the director of national intelligence under Barack Obama — told CNN afterwards that removing his clearance would have “no bearing on my regard, or lack thereof, for President Trump.” He added that the move is a “very, very petty thing to do.”

Hayden — CIA director under George W. Bush — tweeted: “I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write.”

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Former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe reportedly no longer have security clearances.

Lawfare editor-in-chief Benjamin Wittes tweeted that Comey informed him he was “read out” when he left the bureau.

McCabe’s spokesperson also tweeted that his “clearance was deactivated when he was terminated.”

The day after the Helsinki Summit, Comey called on Americans to vote congressional Republicans out of power.

“All who believe in this country’s values must vote for Democrats this fall,” he tweeted. “Policy differences don’t matter right now.”

In multiple interviews last week, Paul pointed out that Brennan and Clapper played a central role in launching the Russian investigation, which targeted the Trump campaign during the 2016 race.

Do you think Brennan and Clapper’s security clearances should be revoked?

“These are the people that I am concerned used their bias against President Trump,” Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Absolutely, I’m with the president on this. The intelligence community was full of biased people including Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and dozens of others.”

In a later interview on “CBS This Morning,” Paul said there is a legitimate and a partisan aspect to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

As he did on Blitzer’s program, Paul highlighted Brennan and Clapper’s roles in launching the Russia probe “at the behest of the Clinton campaign” using information contained in the so-called dossier paid for by Trump’s rival and the Democratic National Committee.

He also mentioned Brennan’s post-summit comments attacking Trump in a speech from the Senate floor on Thursday.

“My goodness we now have the former head of the CIA, John Brennan, galavanting across TV, now being paid for his opinion, to call the president treasonous.”

Paul argued, “This is crazy partisanship that is driving this.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith