Former CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday he’s not sure if his security clearance has been officially revoked.
“Whether or not my clearance has been stripped, I’m still uncertain about that,” he said on MSNBC, adding the only information he received from the government was press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reading a statement by President Trump on Aug. 15 announcing that he was revoking Mr. Brennan’s clearance.
Mr. Brennan said he was never directly told what would happen to his clearance.
“I have not been contacted by anybody at all either before or since then,” he said.
He said that he believed the usual process involves notifying individuals that they no longer have access to sensitive information, but the Trump administration threw process “out the door.”
Mr. Trump argued Mr. Brennan politicized his access to secure information and used it to attack the administration.
The former head spy was one of several other Obama-era officials listed by the president to have his clearance revoked. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and former FBI director James Comey are also at risk of losing their access.
Nearly 200 former national security officials denounced the president’s decision and argued it was unprecedented politicization.
“Our signatures below do not necessarily mean that we concur with the opinions expressed by former CIA Director Brennan or the way in which he expressed them,” the letter read. “What they do represent, however, is our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”
More than a dozen top members of the intelligence community also spoke out against Mr. Trump, saying he was “attempting to stifle free speech.”
The president fired backed at his critics, accusing them of fighting to preserve clearances just for the “prestige and big dollars.”
Everybody wants to keep their Security Clearance, it’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even board seats, and that is why certain people are coming forward to protect Brennan. It certainly isn’t because of the good job he did! He is a political “hack.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2018
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