Trump revokes security clearance from ex-CIA chief over 'erratic behaviour'

Trump revokes security clearance from ex-CIA chief over 'erratic behaviour'

President Donald Trump rescinded former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance and is reviewing those of other controversial Obama-era officials, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at Wednesday's press briefing.

On Wednesday the President returned the favor when the White House announced that Mr. Brennan's security clearance was being revoked.

Trump also pointed to Brennan's more recent statement to Congress that the United States intelligence community did not make use of the so-called Steele dossier in its January 2017 assessment of Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Mr Brennan described Mr Trump's performance after July's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as being "nothing short of treasonous".

Former FBI Director James Comey and former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, among others, could also see their clearances revoked. "It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out".

Despite being caught red-handed spying on his overseers, the Obama administration Department of Justice declined to press charges against Brennan, and he remained in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The move came the day after Brennan chastised Trump on Twitter for having called his former White House liaison office communications director a "dog".

The president also said he was reviewing the security clearances of other former national security and law enforcement officials - all of whom have been critical of him. "Brennan's outspoken criticism of this administration has been noteworthy, I would say". Brennan now works for NBC News as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst", Clapper found a new home at CNN, and Comey penned a book thrashing the Trump administration and comparing Trump himself to a "mob boss".

He said by stripping Brennan's clearance and threatening others with the same fate, "the President has taken us down one more step on the path toward authoritarianism".

'Queen Of Soul' Aretha Frankiln Dies At 76
But in 2013 when Bey was criticised for lip-syncing at President Obama's inauguration, Franklin came to the singer's defence. The mother of four sons, she had her first child in 1955 and her second in 1957.

'Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing, ' Trump said at the time.

In a highly unusually directive, Trump claimed that Brennan - a former station chief in Riyadh who rose to lead the formidable spy agency - had become "erratic".

President Trump has repeatedly denied the claim, calling it a "witch hunt".

Closing arguments in the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, are also being heard.

"The First Amendment does not permit the president to revoke security clearances to punish his critics", Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, argued in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the fact that the officials on Trump's list have frequently denounced the president on television.

"The proximate target was John Brennan, but the real intent of today's announcement was to simultaneously shift and silence", he said.

In the Journal interview, Trump said he was prepared to yank Brennan's clearance last week, but that it was too "hectic".

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (L) and former acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates testify before the Senate Judicary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on May 8, 2017.

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