White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced at Monday’s press briefing that President Donald Trump is reviewing the process to revoke the security clearances of several Deep State critics for abusing their post-government retention of security clearances by lying about Trump and Russia, as well as politicizing and monetizing their security clearances.
The issue was brought up earlier Monday by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who said he would be meeting with Trump about revoking the security clearance of John Brennan, reported TGP’s Cassandra Fairbanks.
Sanders named former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, former G.W. Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice, fired FBI Director James Comey, fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
When asked if the security clearances for former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden were under review Sanders said, no.
Sanders issued the statement in response to a question by Newsmax reporter John Gizzi.
Sanders says Trump is considering revoking security clearances for some ex-intelligence chiefs including John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, Michael Hayden, Susan Rice and Andrew McCabe https://t.co/sUgPCazayj
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 23, 2018
ABC News’ Terry Moran asked a follow-up.
Press Sec. Sanders tells @TerryMoran: "The president doesn't like the fact that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically…not meant to be monetized off of security clearances." https://t.co/NkJuIoyFEp pic.twitter.com/jLdsxwGePv
— ABC News (@ABC) July 23, 2018
NBC’s Ken Dilanian makes Sanders’ point about monetizing security clearances, “Security clearances are a valuable commodity. By making this threat, @realDonaldTrump is seeking to levy a financial penalty on @JohnBrennan and Clapper. There are also public policy reasons that former intel leaders remain cleared–so they can help their successors.”
Security clearances are a valuable commodity. By making this threat, @realDonaldTrump is seeking to levy a financial penalty on @JohnBrennan and Clapper. There are also public policy reasons that former intel leaders remain cleared–so they can help their successors.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) July 23, 2018
UPDATE: White House transcript (excerpts).
Q Thank you, Sarah. Senator Rand Paul today made a strong attempt to vitiate the credibility of former CIA Director John Brennan, saying that he’s — and I quote — “monetizing his security clearance” and that it should be removed from him. He even called on the President to do this. Will the President consider Senator Paul’s suggestion and call for the removal of former Director Brennan’s security clearance?
MS. SANDERS: Not only is the President looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe. The President is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances.
Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the President is extremely inappropriate. And the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.
…Q Sarah, I just wanted to follow up first on this statement you made about Brennan and his security clearance. Are you considering any additional actions against Brennan and the other names you read off? In addition to revoking their security clearance, is there any other action under review?
MS. SANDERS: Not that I’m aware of.
…Q The President is threatening to punish Brennan and Comey and Clapper for saying things about him that he doesn’t like. Is that presidential?
MS. SANDERS: The President is exploring these mechanisms to resume — remove security clearance because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, actually monetized their public service and their security clearances. And making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the President is extremely inappropriate.
The President contends to the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. When we have further updates on that front, I’ll certainly let you know.
Q Their free speech, he doesn’t like. And he wants to punish them for it.
MS. SANDERS: No. I think you are creating your own story there. The President doesn’t like the fact that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances.
Q Sarah, I want to follow up and ask a separate question after. But to follow up on that, isn’t the President doing exactly what you just said the President doesn’t want all these people doing: politicizing matters of national security by going after his political enemies?
MS. SANDERS: No, the President is not making baseless accusations of improper contact with a foreign government and accusing the President of the United States of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance, when you’re the person that holds the nation’s deepest, most-sacred secrets at your hands, and you go out and you make false accusations against the President of the United States. He thinks that is something to be very concerned with, and we’re exploring what those options are and what that looks like.
…Kaitlan, go ahead.
Q When is the President going to make this decision on those security clearances?
MS. SANDERS: I said, when we have an update, we will let you know.
…MS. SANDERS: David, go ahead.
Q What about President Obama and Vice President Biden, and their security clearances? Are they on the list as well?
MS. SANDERS: I’m not aware of any plans for that at this point.
Thank you so much, guys. We’ll see you on the South Lawn.
2:55 P.M. EDT”