WASHINGTON – Striking at one of his fiercest critics over Russia, President Trump said Wednesday he has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, and continues to review the clearances of other Barack Obama administration officials.
Brennan has used his status “to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations” and “wild outbursts on the Internet and television about this administration,” Trump said in a statement read by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
As critics accused Trump of seeking to silence opponents, the president added names to his list of other Obama-era officials whose security clearances are under review: FBI and Justice Department officials involved in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Brennan, like many of his supporters, called the decision part of a broader effort by Trump to “suppress freedom of speech” and “punish critics.”
“It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out,” Brennan tweeted. “My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent.”