Trump Pats Himself On The Back For Yanking Brennan's Security Clearance

Artist’s impression of a sunset on the ultrahot Jupiter KELT-9b. Image credit Denis Bajram

"On Wednesday, Trump cited "lying", frenzied commentary", and "erratic conduct" as reasons he'd revoked Brennan's security clearance.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is challenging former CIA Director John Brennan's claim that President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation.

The signees included seven former CIA directors, six former CIA deputy directors and two former national intelligence directors, James Clapper and retired Navy Admiral Denny Blair.

Trump defended his move on Brennan on Wednesday, saying it had elevated the former Central Intelligence Agency chief rather than hampered his freedom of speech.

"You don't have to agree with what John Brennan says (and, again, not all of us do) to agree with his right to say it, subject to his obligation to protect classified information", it continues.

He denied that he was trying to silence Brennan, a frequent critic of the president.

Sen. Richard Burr said Thursday that Brennan is purporting to know - as fact - that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power.

Others who have earned their security clearance are also speaking out against the move. "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly", Trump told journalists. "For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace".

"I think that Bruce Ohr is a disgrace, with his wife, Nellie", Trump told reporters outside the White House. "And Mr. Mueller has a lot of conflicts, also".

Trump's comments, made to reporters as he boarded Marine One en route to a Republican campaign event in NY, came amid rising criticism of the president for using security clearances as a political tool. 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". The signers - who served in Democratic and Republican administrations - called Trump's action "ill-considered".

Putin told reporters in Helsinki, while standing next to Trump, that he had wanted the former NY businessman to win the White House.

"This action is quite clearly a signal to other former and current officials", the letter says.

The extreme action of revoking security clearances is one more instance of Donald Trump undertaking measures that no other president has done, leaving legal analysts in question about whether the action is actually within his authority.

During an appearance Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" on the Fox News Channel, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump's action.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham", Trump was quoted as saying in the interview.

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