Following the revocation of former CIA chief John Brennan’s security clearance, politicians, political pundits and former intel officials on both sides of the aisle have come forward in support of Mr. Brennan.
Now a dozen former intelligence officials, going all the way back to the 1980’s, have collaborated on a scathing joint statement addressed to the president. In the statement, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former CIA Directors George Tenet, William Webster, Porter Goss, Leon Panetta, Michael Hayden and David Petraeus; former CIA Deputy Directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Michael Morel, Avril Haines and David Cohen all took rare jabs at President Trump.
“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,” the letter states. “We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool, as was done in this case. Beyond that, this action is quite clearly a signal to other current and former officials.”
Some have, on their own, questioned whether Trump’s security clearance revocation is a signal to Mueller and his team that they could be next, effectively putting the brakes on the Russia probe.
“Decisions on security clearances should be based on national security concerns and not political views,” the letter continue.
The President himself indicated that the revocation was done, at least partially, due to the FBI and now the Special Counsel’s investigation into his campaign. The full joint statement by these 12 former intelligence officials can be read below:
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