When the White House announced the decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, it said nine others critical of President Donald Trump’s administration were also facing similar action.
In fact, at least four of those on that “Trump Nine” list no longer have security clearances to revoke.
Former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe lost their security clearances when they were fired last year.
Benjamin Wittes, a national security analyst and friend of Comey, texted the former FBI head on July 23 to ask whether he has a security clearance to revoke.
“Nope,” he responded.
Wittes went on to write “[t]here’s nothing for POTUS [President of the United States] to revoke. Comey says he was ‘read out’ when left government as per normal practice.”
The New York Times has since reported that McCabe also lost his security clearance when he left the FBI.
Another Trump target, former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, also lost his security clearance well before he was officially fired from the Bureau days ago.
“Mr. Strzok as I understand has lost his security clearance,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated during a radio interview on the “Howie Carr Show” June 21. At the time, Strzok was undergoing an internal review of his conduct.
It is questionable whether Lisa Page, an FBI attorney and Strzok’s former mistress, ever had a security clearance. If she did have one, she would have had to been required to relinquish it when she left the FBI in May.
As for the others Trump has targeted for seizure of their security clearances, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN this week that he has consulted with some senior members of the Trump administration since leaving the government in January 2017.
But Clapper also emphasized he does not have access to current intelligence
Another Trump target, former CIA Director and retired Gen. Michael Hayden, also spoke to CNN about the status of his security clearance. Hayden said he hadn’t gotten a briefing from the CIA since retiring as its director nine years ago.
“With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say, or write,” Hayden added.
Barack Obama’s onetime National Security Advisor Susan Rice does have a security clearance. It was reauthorized in 2017 by Trump’s National Secuirty Advisor H.R. McMaster. McMaster, who resigned from the Administration in April of this year, reportedly sent similar letters to every living holder of his job.
Also on the “chopping block” for removal of security clearances are former Justice Department official Sally Yates and Bruce Ohr, a current (and little-known) Justice Department official.
A security clearance allows its holder to read classified information dealing with national security. The three categories of clearance in ascendnig order are confidential, secret and top secret.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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