Hill.TV poll: 40 percent think Trump has right to revoke security clearances over political statements

Forty percent of Americans said they think that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE has the right to revoke security clearances from former government officials if they make public political statements, according to a new American Barometer poll. 

The survey, conducted by Hill.TV and the HarrisX polling company, found that 35 percent of respondents disagreed, saying they don't think Trump has the right to take away clearances from former officials who make public political statements. 

Twenty-four percent of respondents said they were unsure or that they did not know. 

There was a large partisan divide among the respondents, with 86 percent of Republicans surveyed agreeing that Trump has the right to take away security clearances and 57 percent of Democrats saying they didn't think the president had that right. 

“You’re asking people whether the president has the right to take away a security clearance," journalist and political analyst Bill Schneider told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"He’s the president of the United States. Of course, he has the right to take away a security clearance. They were members of the executive branch, so I don’t think that’s a matter of public opinion," he continued. 

The White House announced last week that Trump was revoking former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump bemoans 'double standard' in Stone conviction The curious timeline for taking down Trump Brennan: Russian election interference 'changed the mind of at least one voter' MORE’s security clearance for using his status as a former government official to make “unfounded and outrageous” comments about the administration.

Brennan hit back against Trump, calling the move an “abuse of power.”

Trump is also reviewing access to classified information for several former intelligence officials who have publicly criticized Trump or who have been attacked by the White House.

The officials include former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien Comey3 reasons why impeachment fatigue has already set in Day 2 impeachment ratings drop by more than 1 million from first day Chris Wallace on Yovanovitch testimony: 'If you're not moved, you don't have a pulse' MORE, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe curious timeline for taking down Trump Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward Schiff: Barr 'weaponizing' DOJ 'to go after the president's enemies' MORE and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

The American Barometer survey was conducted on Aug. 20 and 21 among 1,000 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

— Julia Manchester