Former Intel Chiefs: White House Using Security Clearances As A 'Political Tool'

Recep Erdogan

Speaking to reporters days after he revoked the clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, Trump said that Mueller has a lot of conflicts.

"Bruce Ohr is a disgrace, with his wife Nelly, doing what he did", he said, hinting that he was ready to take away Ohr's security clearance too.

Trump took questions from the White House lawn on Friday, aand grumbled about the Russian Federation "witch hunt" while insisting that he actually amplified the voice of former Central Intelligence Agency director Brennan by revoking his clearance.

Burr says if the claim is based on intelligence Brennan received while CIA director, it should have been included in the 2017 USA intelligence assessment of Russian meddling in the election.

He actually did Brennan a favor, he argued, because he now has increased name recognition because of the controversy over the president's move, which he told The Wall Street Journal was prompted by Brennan's role in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe. Many have speculated that this fondness comes from personal insecurity, as Trump himself famously avoided military service during the Vietnam War - supposedly because he had "bone spurs".

Trump's actions have been widely condemned, including by respected former admiral William McRaven, the commander of the US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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Trump claimed that Brennan - a former station chief in Riyadh who rose to lead the formidable spy agency - had become "erratic". Brennan directly, concluding unequivocally that agency officials had indeed" accessed those files, the statement said.

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Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, said his client was sacked late Friday by FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich. During the 2016, Strzok would regularly text with attorney Lisa Page expressing his distaste for Trump.

Sen. Richard Burr said Thursday that Brennan is purporting to know - as fact - that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. Two of the signees - Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden - have appeared on a White House list of people who may also have their security clearances revoked.

Trump turned his ire towards former Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr for communicating with the phony dossier investigator Christopher Steele after he was sacked from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and working with Russian oligarchs.

"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 statement read.

The White House announced earlier this week that Brennan's national security clearance had been revoked because he "recently leveraged his status with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration".

McRaven was critical of Trump, saying he's "embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation".

"I don't trust many of those people on that list", he said. Rove said Brennan has been "over-the-top" and "irresponsible" with his criticisms against the president - though he wasn't sure how advantageous it would be for Trump to paint Brennan as the newest member of "the resistance". "I think that they're very duplicitous".

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