GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) says that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn should lose his security clearance.
“I’ve always liked General Flynn but he’s now pleaded guilty to a federal offense. I think he should lose his security clearance,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Thursday.
Flynn, President Trump’s short-lived National Security Advisor, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI as a result of the ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.
Graham, a former Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the U.S. Air Force, made the comments in the wake of Trump’s decision to pull former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.
“I can’t imagine sharing anything with Brennan given his hatred toward President Trump – I don’t think he’d have any constructive input,” Graham said, adding that he’s “very concerned” with former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and current Justice Department official Bruce Ohr “having security clearances.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Strzok, Page, Ohr, and another handful of former intelligence or security officials are under review and may lose their clearance.
Senators on Capitol Hill during an unusual August work session largely reacted along party lines, with Democrats and some Republican critics decrying Trump’s decision as a political move to silence an outspoken critic.
“President Trump used the removal of a security clearance from a former career intelligence official as a way of showing his political displeasure with him – that’s irresponsible that’s wrong because we shouldn’t be politicizing the process by which clearances are either granted or withdrawn,” Democratic Senator Chris Coons (Del.) said.
-Molly K. Hooper