Ex-CIA chief on possible removal of security clearance: ‘Won’t have any effect on what I say’

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Monday that President Trump removing his security clearance won’t have any effect on what he says or writes. 

“I don’t go back for classified briefings. Won’t have any effect on what I say or write.” Hayden tweeted shortly after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that Trump is considering revoking security clearances for an array of mostly Obama-era officials.

Besides Hayden, who served as CIA director under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, officials include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

{mosads}While speaking on the matter, Sanders accused the officials, who are frequent critics of Trump’s, of “politicizing” and “monetizing” their public service. 

“They’ve politicized, and in some cases monetized, their public service and security clearances,” Sanders said during the daily briefing. “Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia, or begin influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

Sanders’s statement came after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he was meeting with the president to discuss revoking Brennan’s security clearance. 

“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” Paul wrote on Twitter.

Brennan, Hayden and other officials have been highly critical of Trump throughout his presidency, and their criticism intensified after the president’s summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

CNN reported earlier on Monday that revoking security clearances from past officials is an unusual step. 

Tags Andrew McCabe Barack Obama Donald Trump Donald Trump James Clapper James Comey John Brennan Michael Hayden Rand Paul

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