Pres. Trump exploring revoking security clearances of several former intelligence chiefs and others.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 23, 2018
You don’t get a security clearance, and you don’t get a security clearance, and you don’t get a security clearance.
Courtesy of WaPo:
President Trump plans to revoke the security clearances of a handful of former officials who have been critical of his rhetoric and actions toward Russia, the White House announced Monday, in a move that immediately prompted claims of political retaliation.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials being examined are former CIA director John Brennan; former FBI director James B. Comey; former CIA director Michael V. Hayden; former national security adviser Susan E. Rice; former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.; and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
“The president is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearances because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia,” Sanders told reporters at a regular press briefing.
She added: “The fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”
The credit for this idea is being given to Senator Rand Pail who tweeted this out earlier today:
Just got out of WH meeting with @realDonaldTrump. I restated to him what I have said in public: John Brennan and others partisans should have their security clearances revoked.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018
Apparently, Trump took those words to heart and is now planning to strip the security clearance of those he sees as his political enemies.
A few things need to be pointed out.
First off James Comey and Andrew McCabe no longer have security clearances to strip, which means the White House is going off half-cocked again.
Secondly, this is happening only a week after Trump’s private meeting with his handler Vladimir Putin, a man well known for punishing his political enemies.
And thirdly, stripping individuals of their security clearance hampers our ability to call on former national security experts for assistance in times of need and is simply not done unless those individuals have been accused of sharing classified information with those lacking a security clearance.