White House Seeking to Revoke Critics’ Security Clearances

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, Monday, July 23, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(CN) – The Trump Administration announced Monday that it is looking into pulling the security clearances of prominent Trump critics former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, among others.

In answer to a question from a reporter about Brennan’s security clearance, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said “Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the security clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe. … because they’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service.”

The other three individuals mentioned are former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

In response to a follow up question, Sanders said President Donald Trump is concerned that individuals with the nation’s highest security clearances are “making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia, or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

Sanders would not say when the White House might take the highly unusual step.

The statements at the White House came hours after Republican Sen. Rand Paul tweeted Monday that he will ask President Donald Trump to revoke the Brennan’s security clearance after the former CIA director criticized Trump’s performance last week at the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Brennan described Trump’s press conference with Putin as “nothing short of treasonous.”

Paul wrote that he would meet with Trump to discuss allegations that Brennan is “monetizing his security clearance” and “making millions of dollars divulging secrets to mainstream media.”

This story is developing …

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