John Brennan is confronting the White House after a threat to revoke his security clearance as former director of the CIA. He says that the current administration has a “flawed understanding” of why it is essential for former intelligence officials to retain their security clearances.
“I have heard nothing other than what has come out from the White House spokesperson… I don’t know what’s going to happen, but they have a real flawed understanding about what security clearances mean,” Brennan said.
In an effort to fight back, Brennan has referenced his CIA files “a number of times” to prepare for potential congressional hearings.
“I have heard nothing other than what has come out of the White House spokesperson,” Brennan said to MSNBC Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reports.
Sarah Sanders, who serves as the White House press secretary, told journalists that Trump planned on “exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearances because they politicized, and in some cases monetized, their public service and security clearances.”
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul jumped in on the action and also encouraged President Trump to remove Brennan’s clearance.
"I have heard nothing other than what has come out from the White House spokesperson... I don't know what's going to happen, but they have a real flawed understanding about what security clearances mean."— MSNBC (@MSNBC) July 31, 2018
– Former CIA Director John Brennan tells @mitchellreports pic.twitter.com/k8Asglk8WG
To which Brennan shot back, “I don’t know why anybody in the intelligence national security realms who takes what Rand Paul says seriously. But he continues to spout off on these issues.”
Brennan also suggested that Senator Paul and Trump were trying to create controversy with their statements.
The Inquisitr previously reported that Paul Ryan dismissed Trump’s claim that he would revoke these security clearances as “trolling.”
“I think he’s trolling people, honestly,” Ryan said to reporters.
The controversy stems from a White House claim that they were pushing to strip former officials of security clearances, including James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Michael Hayden, Susan Rice, and James Clapper.
Comey was the former director of the FBI, McCabe was formerly the deputy FBI director, Hayden served as the director of the CIA, Rice was formerly the national security adviser, and Clapper was the former director of national intelligence.
Clapper and Comey no longer have security clearances after Trump fired them.
The Hill reports that there have been no more updates on stripping former officials of their security clearances since the White House made their announcement last Tuesday.
Sanders released a list of the former officials Monday, explaining in a statement that “The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances.”
She went on to say that making “baseless accusations” about Russia is “extremely inappropriate.”