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

Getty Images

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said Wednesday that if President Trump 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 Brennan, 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. 

{mosads}”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.

Tags Donald Trump James Clapper John Brennan

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video