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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 BrennanWebb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats Trump critic Brennan praises his Iran decision: I 'applaud' him 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 ComeySarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Barr predicts progressive prosecutors will lead to 'more crime, more victims' MORE, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Former DHS, intelligence leaders launch group to protect presidential campaigns from foreign interference Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief 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