The White House on Wednesday released two versions of the statement revoking former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players? UFOs are an intriguing science problem; Congress must act accordingly MORE's security clearance, one undated and one dated July 26 that suggested Brennan's clearance had been removed weeks before the announcement.
The White House indicated the dated statement, which was issued to White House TV pool reporters, was issued in error.
"Today is the date of the revocation," a White House official told The Hill.
CNN's Kate Bennett tweeted the copy dated July 26, speculating that the White House had held back news about Brennan in order to distract attention from other stories.
"Wait a second, it's almost as though they were holding it in case something else broke ... nah," Bennett tweeted.
The White House passes along a copy of the Brennan statement from the president that @PressSec read today. Note the date: July 26th. Wait a second, it's almost as though they were holding it in case something else broke ... nah. pic.twitter.com/VdOy8szWo5— Kate Bennett (@KateBennett_DC) August 15, 2018
A second, identical statement issued minutes later to White House print pool reporters was undated.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from Trump at a press briefing stating that Brennan's security clearance had been revoked for "increasingly frenzied commentary [that] is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilities."
“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,” the president's statement said.
Democrats accused the president of acting like a "dictator" by restricting Brennan's access, apparently in response to his frequent criticism of the Trump administration.
“The President has adopted the weak, paranoid, authoritarian behavior of a dictator,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted after the announcement.
“This is putting personal petty politics ahead of patriotism and national security, end of story,” tweeted former Secretary of State John Kerry. “You expect this banana republic behavior in the kind of countries that the State Department warns Americans not to travel to, but not at home in the USA.”