Ryan: Trump Threat To Revoke Security Clearances Is 'Trolling People'

Sen. Rand Paul speaks during a press conference regarding the executive order President Donald Trump signed

The White House on Monday threatened to strike back at critics of President Donald Trump's contacts with Russian Federation by revoking the security clearances of six former USA officials, drawing accusations that he was abusing his power and aiming to stifle dissent.

The final question in the briefing was whether former President Obama and former VP Biden might have their security clearances revoked as well.

"They've politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances", Sanders said.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders read a list of officials being considered for revocation of their clearances on Monday and said the White House is "exploring the mechanisms" by which the government might take them away. "And making baseless accusations of an improper relationship with Russian Federation is inappropriate".

Brennan, who headed the CIA from March 2013 to January 2017, became a "senior national security and intelligence analyst" at NBC News in February.

Mr Clapper told CNN the plan was "a very, very petty thing to do".

He also said that presidents are not normally involved in decisions about granting or revoking specific security clearances.

The threat to deny the officials access to classified information marks the latest escalation in the president's ongoing war with the members of the us intelligence community. He seemed intent on leaving it to the White House to decide.

Susan Hennessy, executive editor of the blog Lawfare, tweeted that "former high-ranking national security officials typically stay in access in order to support their successors and provide insight and continuity when necessary".

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said he has urged Trump to revoke clearances because "public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking-head fees".

"I don't have any particular advice to give the president", McConnell said Tuesday. "He can suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit, and if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well I think that's a awful precedent". "This is a political attack on career national security officials who have honorably served their country for decades under both Republicans and Democrats in an effort to distract from [special counsel Robert Mueller's] investigation".

"An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American". He said no one from the White House has contacted him about the matter, which he learned about during Sanders' remarks. In his July 16 Twitter post, Brennan added, "Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin". "There is a school of thought which holds that the president has complete and exclusive authority over security clearances", said Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy.

"I don't know whether they've been abusing their security clearance at all", said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber.

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