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Corker: Trump considering revoking security clearances is 'banana republic kind of thing'

Corker: Trump considering revoking security clearances is 'banana republic kind of thing'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Former GOP senator: Republicans cannot let Trump's 'reckless' post-election claims stand Cornyn: Relationships with Trump like 'women who get married and think they're going to change their spouse' MORE (R-Tenn.) compared President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden's secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' MORE's consideration of a plan to strip half a dozen former national security and intelligence officials of their security clearances to "a banana republic kind of thing."

The Tennessee senator went on to say that targeting "political enemies" was "the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela."

"I can't even believe that somebody at the White House thought up something like this," Corker said on MSNBC. "I mean, when you're going to start taking retribution against people who are your political enemies in this manner, that's the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela."

"You just don't do that, and I can't believe they even allowed it to be aired, just to be honest. I mean, it's a banana republic kind of thing."

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The comments from Corker, a frequent Trump critic, came a day after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to reporters at a press briefing that Trump was considering stripping six former officials of their security clearances, alleging that they had "politicized, and in some cases, monetized their public service."

Among the officials named by Sanders were former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThe biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community Sunday shows: Health officials anticipate vaccine distribution, warn of worsening pandemic MORE, former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperThe biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community The new marshmallow media in the Biden era MORE, former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHawaii GOP official resigns over now-deleted tweet defending QAnon supporters Biden to keep Wray as FBI director Comey: 'Republican Party has to be burned to the ground' MORE, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeCarter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to know about the Pfizer vaccine announcement MORE and former national security adviser Susan Rice. 

All the officials named in the Monday briefing served during Obama's administration and all have spoken critically of Trump, particularly over the president's posture towards the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

"Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate," Sanders said on Monday. "And the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence."

Corker is retiring at the end of this term and has backed Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) in her bid to win the seat.