Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, the White House said Wednesday, denying the frequent critic of the president any access to sensitive information.
“Historically former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said, reading a statement from Trump.
“At this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” she quoted Trump as saying.
Breaking: CIA was “caught off guard” by Trump decision to revoke @JohnBrennan security clearance, official with knowledge of the matter tells me.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 15, 2018
Following the president’s summit last month with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Brennan, who headed the CIA under President Barack Obama, described Trump’s behavior as “nothing short of treasonous.”
This is putting personal petty politics ahead of patriotism and national security, end of story. You expect this banana republic behavior in the kind of countries that the State Department warns Americans not to travel to, but not at home in the USA. https://t.co/5f0pVSuHnd
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) August 15, 2018
Trump said he was also considering revoking security clearances for James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, James Comey, whom Trump fired from the post of FBI director last year, Michael Hayden, who had also served as director of national intelligence, and Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who was sacked by Trump shortly after he came to office.
Also on the list was Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser.