On Wednesday, President Trump revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. Brennan believes the president is retaliating against him for being critical of the Trump administration.
“Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him,” Brennan wrote in an opinion article published in The New York Times.
Trump admitted that one of the reasons he revoked Brennan’s security clearance was because of the Russia investigation.
Civics Lesson: The CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established on September 18, 1947 by president Harry S. Truman. The CIA’s primary purpose is to “collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior U.S. government policymakers in making decisions relating to national security.”
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“I think that whole – I call it the rigged witch hunt – is a sham,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal. “And these people led it!”
“So I think it’s something that had to be done,” he added, referring to his decision to take away Brennan’s security clearance.
The move has drawn rebuke from both sides of the political aisle. Fran Townsend, who served as homeland security adviser during the George W. Bush administration, is concerned about the president’s motives.
“The fact that the president did this himself leaves him open to the criticism that it looks politically motivated,” Townsend told CBS. “The notion that you’re going pull somebody’s clearance because you don’t like what they did in government service or you don’t like what they say is deeply disturbing and very offensive.”
Attorney Aitan Goelman, who represents former FBI agent Peter Strzok, said that Trump’s order “has taken us down one more step on the path toward authoritarianism.”
Brennan believes the incident only offers more evidence that the president is attempting to cover up his misdeeds.
“Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference—from Mr. Trump or anyone else—so that all Americans can get the answers they so rightly deserve,” Brennan concluded in his New York Times piece.