Security clearances: What exactly can Trump do?

Donald Trump threatens to revoke security clearances of Comey, Brennan, Clapper

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said that he plans to meet with President Trump on Monday and ask him to revoke the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, who has been a harsh critic of Trump on Russian Federation and other issues.

Former intelligence officials usually keep their security clearance but rarely use it, sometimes providing advice to successors.

Sen. Rand Paul announced earlier Monday he would be asking the President to revoke Brennan's access after he accused the president of "treason" after his historic Helsinki Summit with Vladimir Putin.

Security clearances allow United States government officials access to classified documents and files, and they are often prerequisites for government employment.

McCabe's spokeswoman criticized the move and the motives.

The get-together stunned lawmakers because afterward during a joint press conference, Trump denied US intelligence findings that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election. "You would think the White House would check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps...", Schwartz tweeted Monday. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. McCabe spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said the former deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation director's clearance was deactivated when he was sacked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March.

Experts appeared split on whether the president has the authority to terminate a security clearance unilaterally. "Others argue that that's not so and that the president is limited by congressional power and legislative requirements".




Both the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which oversees all US intelligence agencies, said they had no comment on the White House threat.

Clapper, who found a new home at CNN after serving as Obama's director of national intelligence (2010-2017), was far more circumspect in describing the summit, but he still said he was "very nervous" that Trump may have given away USA secrets "either at that meeting in Helsinki or in their earlier encounters".

"It would be horrendous".

The move, aside from causing a political backlash, could also undermine the entire security system - from a privilege based on status and character - to a weaponized political tool, security analysts said. "The very idea is repugnant".

"I think he's trolling people, honestly", the Wisconsin Republican said, chuckling at his own answer.

"I mean, what are they afraid of?"

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