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 TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller 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 ComeyNadler's House committee holds a faux hearing in search of a false crime We've lost sight of the real scandal Former Obama officials willing to testify on McCabe's behalf: report MORE, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Conservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe 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