Mark Warner Threatens Amendment to 'Block' Trump from Voiding Security Clearances

Posted August 19, 2018

Over a dozen former senior intelligence officials - a group that includes officials who served under both Democratic and Republican presidents - are denouncing President Donald Trump's decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance as "ill-considered" and "unprecedented".

The mention of Ohr on Friday is notable because he now works at the Justice Department and has not publicly criticized Trump.

Brennan was reacting to a report in The Washington Post on Friday that said the decision to revoke his security clearance had been finalized in order to switch the news cycle's focus from former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman's new book.

"I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace", he said.

Asked about Ohr's security clearance, Trump said: "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly".

The counter-punch comes after days of criticism from former USA national security officials and military leaders who've cast Trump's cancellation of Brennan's clearance - an apparent retaliation for his criticism of the president - as a unsafe precedent. Sanders announced the Brennan decision Wednesday, citing what she called his "erratic conduct" and "wild outbursts" on television, as well as allegedly erroneous statements he had made.

Of those on the list, only Ohr is still employed in government service, but maintaining a security clearance is useful for finding documents if any of them are called to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller investigation. "I could go into conflict after conflict", Trump said. "He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don't know him".

Russian Federation denies having meddled in the 2016 election, but US intelligence agencies uniformly say Moscow did intervene and tried to help Trump beat Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

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The letter was signed by six former Central Intelligence Agency directors, five former deputy Central Intelligence Agency directors, and Clapper.

They said they did not necessarily concur with all the opinions expressed by Brennan, or the way in which he expressed them.

Mark Warner of Virginia, plans to introduce a resolution that would prevent the President from arbitrarily revoking security clearances, days after President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.

"Has anyone looked at the mistakes that John Brennan made while serving as CIA Director?"

The White House said it was studying a list of other individuals for security clearance review, and Trump suggested Ohr was at the top of that list. The others are former director of national intelligence James Clapper Jr.; former CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation directors Michael Hayden and James Comey; Obama national security adviser Susan Rice; former Federal Bureau of Investigation officials Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok; and former acting attorney general Sally Yates.

Several former officials have said they rarely use their clearances, which allow them to serve as institutional memories and provide advice to current officials, if requested.

"I think this is an egregious act that it flies in the face of traditional practice, as well as common sense, as well as national security", Brennan told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Watch the full interview below, or read a transcript here.

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