Former Secretary of State John Kerry lashed out at President Donald Trump for revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan on Wednesday.
Kerry, a frequent Trump critic, accused the president of putting “petty politics ahead of patriotism.”
“This is putting personal petty politics ahead of patriotism and national security, end of story,” Kerry tweeted. “You expect this banana republic behavior in the kind of countries that the State Department warns Americans not to travel to, but not at home in the USA.”
Other swift negative reaction on the social media platform called Trump’s decision an attempt to distract attention from the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and an explosive tell-all book written by former Trump adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman.
Los Angeles Times reporter Jim Puzzanghera chided the decision as an attempt to “change the media narrative” — concluding: “mission accomplished.”
“There was only one Omarosa question at [Wednesday’s] White House briefing,” Puzzanghera tweeted. “It makes you wonder if Trump had the Brennan security clearance revocation in a glass case to break in case of emergency to change the media narrative. If so, mission accomplished.”
Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., called the revocation “silly” and “vindictive.”
“The revocation by @realDonaldTrump of the security clearance of John Brennan is silly & vindictive. Brennan’s criticism of @POTUS is not based on his current clearance,” Lieu tweeted. “Trump’s action won’t silence Brennan. But it does remind Americans that Trump acts like Nixon more and more.”
Another Democratic politician, Tom Guild, running for a House seat from Oklahoma, compared the list of those the president is also considering for revocation of security clearance akin to former President Richard Nixon’s “Watergate enemies list.”
“Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance possibly along with other Trump critics named by the White House smacks of Nixon’s infamous Watergate enemies list!” Guild tweeted.
David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic, called the move “doubtfully legal.”
“Helpful from @lawfareblog about clearance revocation – Trump’s actions re: Brennan are indeed unprecedented and only doubtfully legal,” Frum tweeted.
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