This afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders held a press conference where she announced that the president had decided to revoke the security clearance of former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, saying that “The president has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it, and that’s what he’s doing is fulfilling that responsibility in this action.”
Immediately following the announcement, many political pundits, politicians and commentators on both the left and the right criticized the President’s actions as being “authoritative,” “juvenile,” and even “illegal”. It took Brennan himself a little bit longer to issue a response, which came via Twitter and was about as scathing an attack on the President that we have seen by a former government official to date.
“This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,” wrote Brennan.
Sanders claimed that Trump has a list of other individuals who the White House is currently reviewing security clearances for, and this list includes James Comey, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, Michael Hayden, and Susan Rice.