Trump mulling removing Obama admin officials clearances

Trump mulling removing Obama admin officials clearances
  • Clock-gray 05:05
  • calendar-gray 24 July 2018

President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of a host of senior Barack Obama administration officials, the White House said Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump is "exploring the mechanisms" for the action because the individuals under review have "politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances."

 

All of the former officials served under Obama. They include former CIA Directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

 

Clapper and Hayden served under Obama and former President George W. Bush, who like Trump, is Republican.

 

Addressing reporters at the White House, Sanders accused the former officials of "politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically not meant to be political."

 

None of the individuals are currently serving in government.

 

Traditionally, security clearances are revoked because of evidence of abuse.

 

It is unclear what led to the White House developing its list of officials whose security clearances would come under review, but Senator Rand Paul earlier Monday tweeted a statement in which he called for Trump to revoke Brennan's clearance.

 

Paul said he asked for the former CIA director's clearance to be revoked, as well as unspecified "others partisans," during a meeting with Trump on Monday.

 

"Public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking head fees," he said.

 

The case for each individual using their clearance for "leverage" is unknown. Senior officials who leave government regularly use their former posts to seek paid employment, including speaking engagements and book deals, regardless of which party they served under.

 

Brennan tweeted a strong criticism of Trump last week following the president's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous," Brennan said.

 

Brenann did not immediately use the social media site to reply to the White House's latest announcement, but Hayden, who also helmed the CIA, maintained that if Trump does follow through it will not effect him at all.

 

"I dont go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write," he said on Twitter.

Ceyhun Aliyev

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