Adm. McRaven: Revoke My Security Clearance Too

Adm. McRaven: Revoke My Security Clearance Too

Former CIA Director John Brennan arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing evaluating the intelligence community assessment on "Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2018.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt", the President complained in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, "and these people [the intelligence community] led it". "And these people led it!" "I think it's something that had to be done", he told the Journal.

Trump said he does not trust "many of those people on that list" and does not think they are "good people".

Retired Adm. William McRaven, the USA military leader credited with overseeing the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, wrote a scathing op-ed Thursday that chided President Trump for revoking the national security credentials of former CIA Director John Brennan.

Brennan is reacting to the news in a phone interview with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace.

He hit back on Twitter accusing the President of trying to "suppress free speech and punish critics".

John Kennedy of Louisiana was more explicit in describing Brennan: "I think I called him a butthead and I meant it".

It came after Brennan called Trump's repeated denials that his campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election "hogwash" and accused the president of revoking his security clearance as part of a "desperate" attempt to interfere with the special counsel's investigation. At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said other former executive branch officials who've been critical of Trump could be next.

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My principles are worth far more than clearances.

Mark Warner, who represents Virginia for the Democrats, tweeted: "This might be a convenient way to distract attention, say from a damaging news story or two".

There was no suggestion that Brennan has leaked classified information. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Brennan, who was Central Intelligence Agency director under President Barack Obama, has been making "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against the administration.

President Donald Trump urged his Attorney General Jeff Sessions to sue certain pharmaceutical companies that have contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States.

Mr Warner's intervention came after it was pointed out that the original White House statement was dated July 26. In a statement, Trump cited Brennan's "lying" and "increasingly frenzied commentary" as reasons for the decision.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., argued that Brennan's own rhetoric in criticizing Trump had cheapened the status of intelligence agencies.

Former high-ranking officials typically retain their security clearance when they leave office so their successors can consult with them on sensitive issues.

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