Trump expects to revoke Ohr's security clearance

Saul Bowman
August 19, 2018

Mr Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama and has become a vocal Trump critic, called Mr Trump's claims that he did not collude with Russian Federation "hogwash".

The administration is also looking to revoke the security clearances of several other former and current officials, with Trump announcing Friday he plans to revoke the clearance for Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.

They went on to argue, "We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool, as was done in this case".

"We feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House", reads the letter from the officials, who served both Democratic and Republican presidents.

Among the signers were six former Central Intelligence Agency directors - including retired Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was a potential candidate for secretary of state in the early days of the Trump administration.

'Has anyone looked at the mistakes that John Brennan made while serving as CIA Director?,' Trump wrote on his Twitter account.

"Mr. Brennan's lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos", the White House said.

They also defended Brennan's character and called allegations against Brennan of wrongdoing "baseless".

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

In yet another one of his unusual tactics, Trump has been publicly talking about revoking the security clearances of current and former officials.

Trump repeatedly has called the probe a "witch hunt" and sought to discredit those involved in it. Brennan has been an extremely vocal critic of Trump and the administration, something that is in itself unusual.

'I don't know McRaven, ' Trump said Friday, declaring that 'I've gotten tremendous response from having done that because security clearances are very important to me.

Woolsey was not able to review the joint statement issued by the other former intelligence chiefs by the deadline, and chose to write his own statement, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

Signalling that his efforts to target clearances over his frustration with the Russian Federation investigation were not over, Trump tweeted that it was a "disgrace" for Bruce Ohr to be in the Justice Department.

Petraeus was once considered by Trump as a candidate for secretary of state. Ohr was demoted upon the discovery of certain meetings with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, whose firm was behind dossier, and Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who assembled it.

According to emails reported last week, former British spy Steele kept in close contact with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation cut ties with Steele as a source.

"I think this is just another example of Mr. Trump trying to frighten and intimidate others, but I can tell you ... these are not the type of people who are going to be bullied or intimidated by someone of the likes of Mr. Trump", Brennan said.

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