bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//Ex-intelligence officials blast President Trump for revoking Brennan’s security clearance.
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.
A group of esteemed former intelligence officials on Thursday released a statement to respond to “the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan’s security clearances.” They praised Brennan’s service as a former head of the CIA and declared that “allegations of wrongdoing on the part of Brennan while in office are baseless.”
In a statement of support reported by multiple outlets, 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 said. “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 officials also called Trump’s decision “inappropriate and deeply regrettable,” and urged him not to take similar actions in the future.
The White House has drafted documents revoking the security clearances of current and former officials whom President Trump has demanded be punished for criticizing him or playing a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to senior administration officials.
Trump wants to sign “most if not all” of them, said one senior White House official, who indicated that communications aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Bill Shine, the newly named deputy chief of staff, have discussed the optimum times to release them as a distraction during unfavorable news cycles.
Some presidential aides echoed concerns raised by outside critics that the threatened revocations smack of a Nixonian enemies list, with little or no substantive national security justification. Particular worry has been expressed inside the White House about Trump’s statement Friday that he intends “very quickly” to strip the clearance of current Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
In a separate development President Donald Trump calls off military parade after CNBC estimates costs jump by $80 million.
Trump: I will go to “The Paris Military Parade” instead – celebrating end of World War 1:
The Pentagon and White House were planning a military parade requested by President Trump, breaking with U.S. tradition.
President Trump’s grand vision for a military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue collapsed Friday, as he backed off plans to stage a costly event this fall that was never enthusiastically embraced by the Pentagon or leaders of the city expected to host the spectacle.
In several tweets, Trump blamed local officials in Washington, alleging without evidence that they had inflated the cost to the city of a display of the country’s armed forces that had been inspired by Trump’s visit last year to a Bastille Day parade in Paris.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it.”
Trump said it was possible the parade could be put on next year if the cost “comes WAY DOWN,” and added that with the savings “we can buy some more jet fighters!”
He said he would go to a parade in Paris to mark Armistice Day on Nov. 11 and also attend a “big parade” at Joint Base Andrews in the District’s Maryland suburbs.
His tweets were a confirmation of what the Pentagon had signaled a day before: that the planned Nov. 10 event might be postponed amid questions about its escalating costs, which were estimated to be as high as $92 million.