Former CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

Recep Erdogan

"This is the first time in 38 years I haven't had a security clearance".

"Beyond that, this action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials", the former officials said, adding that the signal "is inappropriate and deeply regrettable".

Others who have earned their security clearance are also speaking out against the move.

Mr McRaven was the head of US Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 and supervised the Seal raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011. Brennan described Trump's actions at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month as treasonous.

The retired admiral called Brennan "one of the finest public servants I have ever known".

White House officials will nearly certainly avoid answering any questions about the process, or lack thereof, surrounding their new security clearance standards.

The White House said it was studying a list of other individuals for security clearance review, and Trump suggested Ohr was at the top of that list. And that's okay with me because I like taking on voices like that, ' he said of Brennan.

"I don't trust many of those people on that list", he said.

In announcing Comey's firing, the White House initially cited the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's handling of the probe into Democratic rival Clinton's emails, seizing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's decision to divulge details of the probe to the public during her campaign against Trump.

The group of 60 said in their statement that they might not all agree with Brennan's political positions, but that it should be a separate issue from his eligibility for a clearance.

The president's comments were a swift departure from the official explanation given by the White House earlier Wednesday that cited the "the risks" posed by Brennan's supposed "erratic conduct and behaviour". "There's no silencing. If anything, I'm giving him a bigger voice".

Brennan wrote an op-ed for The New York Times saying Trump did so to scare critics into silence and that the claims of no collusion with Russian Federation are "hogwash". "Mr. Trump's claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash".

He said the only question now is whether the collusion that took place "constituted criminally liable conspiracy".

The signees include six former CIA directors, five former deputy directors and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

As Hill Reporter covered yesterday, legal analysts say that a president getting involved in the process of revoking security clearances, especially without going through the usual channels, is utterly unprecedented, and could result in legal battles to determine whether Trump actually has that power.

According to CNN, Donald Trump is considering revoking the clearances of at least nine former and current national security officials: James Clapper (former Director of National Intelligence), Michael Hayden (former CIA and NSA Director), Sally Yates (former Deputy Attorney General), Susan Rice (former National Security Adviser), James Comey (former FBI Director), Andrew McCabe (former Deputy FBI Director), Peter Strzok (former FBI agent), Lisa Page (former FBI attorney), and Bruce Ohr (DOJ official).

Brennan has been a familiar face on television news shows where he has made scathing attacks on the president.

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