Rand Paul to ask Trump to eliminate Brennan’s security clearance
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he will meet President Trump on Monday and ask the president to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.
“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance?” Paul asked on Twitter. “Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on [Trump]?”
He added in a subsequent tweet that he will meet with Trump and ask him to revoke Brennan’s security clearance.
Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018
Brennan, who served as CIA director under former President Obama, is a frequent Trump critic. He said Trump’s rhetoric at a meeting last week in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treasonous.”
CNN reports that former intelligence officials usually maintain high-level security clearances after they leave their positions. The network also notes that revoking security clearance in response to criticism is a highly unusual step.
While Trump has faced bipartisan criticism for some of his comments during a joint press conference with Putin, he’s garnered support from Paul.
Last week, Paul blocked a resolution from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that supported the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s election interference, calling it “crazy hatred” against Trump. The resolution also demanded that the president speak with special counsel Robert Mueller.
In his objection, Paul said the resolution was a sign of “Trump derangement syndrome” in the Senate.
Other Republican lawmakers have also leveled attacks against Brennan, with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) calling the ex-CIA chief a “disaster” and accusing him of being a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War.
“John Brennan was a disaster as CIA director. He was a disaster as the counterterrorism official. He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War,” DeSantis said on Fox News.
Brennan has admitted that he voted for the Communist Party’s presidential candidate, Gus Hall, in 1976, saying it was his way of “signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”