Published: Fri, August 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Senate Intel chairman slams former Central Intelligence Agency director for Trump-Russia claims

Senate Intel chairman slams former Central Intelligence Agency director for Trump-Russia claims

Former CIA Director John Brennan is slamming President Trump for revoking his security clearance.

"Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him", Brennan wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in the New York Times.

President Trump revoked Brennan's security clearance Wednesday, claiming Brennan was acting "erratic". The Hill's Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack joined CBSN to explain the fallout.

President Donald Trump is drawing a direct connection between the Russian Federation investigation and his decision to revoke former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan's security clearance.

John Brennan wrote that it is "critically important" that special counsel Robert Mueller be permitted to complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia.

Brennan has been sharply critical of Trump, calling his comments after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, "nothing short of treasonous".

Sanders also listed nine other national security figures whose security clearances were under review.

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Brennan responded Wednesday to the news that his clearance was revoked by describing the act as part of "a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics". All but one no longer serve in the United States government and it includes several noteworthy Trump adversaries, including former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates.

The public spat highlights the increasingly partisan shadow that's been cast over national security and intelligence in the Trump era.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, says Trump's move is a "stunning abuse of power".

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's press secretary, insisted on Wednesday the White House wasn't targeting only Trump critics.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warns a "dangerous precedent" is being set.

"It feels very much like a banana republic kind of thing", Corker said.

But at least two other Republicans were in favour of Trump's action.

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