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Ex-CIA chief: Trump revoking my security clearance would have no impact on what I say

Ex-CIA chief: Trump revoking my security clearance would have no impact on what I say
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Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Wednesday that if President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE were to revoke his security clearance, it would have "no impact on what I think, say or write." 

Hayden was responding to the announcement that Trump revoked the clearance of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOnline and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' The biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE, following Brennan's frequent criticism of the president. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also announced that Trump is reviewing the clearances for numerous ex-intelligence officials, including Hayden. 

"If I were to lose my clearance, it would have a marginal impact on the work I do," Hayden said in a statement to The Hill. "For example I am on the proxy board of an American subsidiary of an Irish company to ensure that in doing its work it respects the classification rules of the United States. 

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"If my memory is correct, I visited the agency once to get a background briefing on Africa about nine years ago. All my other visits were either to attend a ceremony, at the request of the agency or to research my book (every word of which had to be cleared by CIA and NSA)."

Hayden added that "the implied threat" that he could lose his security clearance would have no effect on what he says about the president in the future. 

The decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance comes almost a month after the administration said it was considering taking this action. 

"As the head of the executive branch and the commander in chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation's classified information, including by controlling access to it," Trump said in the statement read by Sanders on Wednesday. 

In addition to Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper quickly criticized the White House for the decision on Wednesday, saying that it infringed on Brennan's First Amendment rights. 

Brennan has aimed heavy scrutiny at Trump throughout his presidency. On Tuesday, he tweeted that Trump would never understand what it means to be president after Trump called a former White House aide as a "lowlife" and a "dog."

Updated at 4:30 p.m.