President Trump is mulling the idea of revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, and might extend the slap to other former intel honchoes he feels have “politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service security clearances” to make “baseless accusations” against the president, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at today’s press briefing.
Sen. Rand Paul kicked off this blacklist effort today when he charged Brennan with “monetizing” his security clearance and calling for POTUS to jettison him from the security clearance list.
“Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance; he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice and McCabe,” Sanders said, lobbing that grenade after being asked only about Brennan.
That’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Advisor Director Michael Hayden, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
“The president is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said, stealing some of her line from Paul.
“Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia, or being influenced by Russia, against the president is extremely inappropriate,” Sanders scolded. “The fact that people with security clearances are making baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”
Various Trump targets responded. McCabe’s rep, for instance, tweeted that “McCabe’s security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what we were told was FBI policy. You would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps.”
Clapper, meanwhile, called it a “sad commentary” that POTUS would, “for political reasons” engage in “petty retribution for speaking out against the president which I think on the part of all of us, are borne out of genuine concerns about President Trump.” Clapper, speaking to CNN, clarified that he does not get the briefings and does not have access to classified information.