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Date TimeAugust 15, 2018
VoiceSarah Sanders attacks Brennan’s ‘erratic conduct and behavior’
Access to classified information for James Comey under review
White House revokes security clearance of ex-CIA chief and Trump critic John Brennan
Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of John Brennan, the CIA director in the Obama administration, citing “erratic conduct and behavior”.
Brennan has been a vocal critic of Trump.
The move comes as the White House has been rocked by allegations against the president by former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, including the claim thatan audio tape exists of Trump using “the N-word”.
Reading a prepared statement from President Trump in the White House briefing room, the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, railed against Brennan. She claimed “he has leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive info to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on internet and television about this administration”.
Sanders also said Brennan’s “lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets”.
Sanders had in July floated removing Brennan’s clearance along with a number of other Obama administration officials. At the time, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, laughed off the threat, telling reporters of Trump: “I think he’s trolling people, honestly.”
On Wednesday, Sanders repeated a long list of others whom the White House was considering revoking security clearances for, including the former FBI director James Comey, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, former acting attorney general Sally Yates and former director of national intelligence Michael Hayden.
All of the officials named have criticized Trump.
Most recently, Brennan condemned Trump’s characterization of Manigault Newman as “that dog”.
Brennan said: “It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility and probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent and honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our nation.”
Hayden shrugged off the announcement that his clearance was under review. In a statement to CNN, he said “with regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write”.
John McLaughlin, the former deputy director of the CIA under George W Bush, called the decision “ridiculous” and said in an interview with MSNBC that it indicated “an authoritarian attitude in [Trump’s] governing style”.

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