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

Greg Nash

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) compared President Trump’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.”


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 Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe 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.

Tags 2018 midterms Andrew McCabe Bob Corker Donald Trump James Clapper James Comey John Brennan security clearances Senate White House Press Secretary

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