Ex CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

Muriel Hammond
August 18, 2018

Mr. Trump also said he's gotten a "tremendous response" to his decision to strip security clearance from Obama-era CIA Director John O. Brennan, and seemed emboldened by his hardball move.

McRaven tells Trump that he would consider it an honor if the president would revoke his security clearance as well so he can add his name to the list of individuals who have spoken out against Trump's presidency. Also on the list is Bruce Ohr, a current Justice Department official who was a contact for former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

Most recently, Ohr has come under scrutiny for his alleged dealings with the author of the anti-Trump dossier and potentially secret meetings with Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.

Trump suggested Friday he is likely to continue to revoke security clearances.

"On Wednesday, Trump cited "lying", frenzied commentary", and "erratic conduct" as reasons he'd revoked Brennan's security clearance.

"For him to be in the Justice Department, and to be doing what he did, that is a disgrace", Trump said.

Hayden warned the action will have a "chilling effect" on the entire intelligence community, "that if you disagree with the president, if you say things with which the president disagrees or he does not like, he is willing to take punitive action against you".

"He has often overstated the case [against Trump] and engaged in innuendo where there has been more responsible criticisms from former officials that haven't gone as far", Lake said.

"I've never respected him", Trump said.

In August 2016, just two days after Brennan briefed Senator Harry Reid and other members on Russian interference in the election, the Nevada senator wrote a letter to then-FBI director James Comey, calling the FBI to investigate Trump's campaign.

But he also said Brennan went too far for someone in his position by suggesting without proof that Russian Federation might have blackmail on Trump. "Revoking the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency chief is nothing but a blatant attempt to silence a critic, to take away his right to free speech, to purge him".

"We all agree that the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances - and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech", the former CIA directors, deputy directors and directors of national intelligence said.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday night, Trump called the move against Brennan "something that had to be done" because officials on the list "led" the "rigged witch hunt" Russian Federation investigation.

Putin told reporters in Helsinki, while standing next to Trump, that he had wanted the former NY businessman to win the White House.

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