Trump fires back at Navy admiral asking for revoked security clearance

Recep Erdogan

President Trump said today at the White House he's actually doing the opposite.

The DOJ official's security access is up for review along with several other Obama-era officials accused of anti-Trump bias in the workplace.

Brennan has repeatedly clashed with Trump on Twitter and on television, calling Trump's failure to denounce Russian interference in USA elections at a recent summit with Vladimir Putin "nothing short of treasonous". Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama and has become a vocal Trump critic, called Trump's claims that he did not collude with Russian Federation "hogwash". The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign to compile the dossier. He reiterated that his action was directly tied to the Russian Federation investigation, or "rigged witch hunt", as Trump calls it.

In revoking Brennan's clearance, Trump on Wednesday accused the former Central Intelligence Agency director, one of his most outspoken critics, of making "a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about this Administration".

"As former senior intelligence officials, we feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan's security clearances", they wrote.

Trump's actions have been widely condemned, including by respected former admiral William McRaven, the commander of the US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

President Donald Trump has demonstrated a noticeable fondness for military leaders, surrounding himself with officers such as Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and former national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.

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"Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation", McRaven wrote.

"So I think it's something that had to be done", he added. It marked the latest example of the president contradicting a story his aides had put forward to explain his motivations.

"Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power".

"If, however, Director Brennan's statement is purely political and based on conjecture, the president has full authority to revoke his security clearance as head of the Executive Branch".

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor agreed. They should be looking at the other side.

"I don't think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it's factually relevant", said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney.

They labeled the removal of Brennan's security clearance as "a signal" to current and former officials about potential limits to their free speech.

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