Twelve former top U.S. intelligence officials on Thursday condemned President Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, calling it a blatant attempt to stifle Brennan’s criticism.
In a letter to the White House reported by multiple outlets, a dozen former officials including CIA directors dating back to the 1980s declared that “security clearances should be based on national security concerns and not political views.”
“Insinuations and allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless,” the officials wrote. “We all agree that 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.”
“We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool, as was done in this case,” they added. “Beyond that, this action is quite clearly a signal to other current and former officials.”
The letter went on, calling Trump’s decision “inappropriate and deeply regrettable,” and urged him not to take similar actions in the future.
Joint statement from William Webster, Hayden, Panetta, Petraeus, Clapper, John McLaughlin, Mike Morell — in total 12 former directors and deputy directors of the CIA and a former DNI — criticizing Trump for revoking Brennan's clearance. pic.twitter.com/YK60dOOxzW
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 17, 2018
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