On Wednesday, Mr. Trump announced that he was revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. In a statement dictated in the White House briefing room by his press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump said:
‘I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it. Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.’
In a letter to Trump on Thursday published in The Washington Post, William H. McRaven, a retired Navy admiral who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, asked the president to also revoke his security clearance.
‘Former CIA director John Brennan, whose security clearance you revoked on Wednesday, is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.
‘Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.’
McRaven wrote about how he hoped Mr. Trump would “rise to the occasion” and be a great leader for this country. The retired Navy SEAL also discussed the qualities of a good leader which include putting other’s welfare before your own and setting a good example of others to follow. McRaven wrote to Trump:
‘Your leadership, however, has shown little of these qualities. Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.’
McRaven went on to say:
‘If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.’
In her press briefing, Huckabee Sanders also said that the White House was reviewing access to classified information for several other government officials. This included former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he cited Brennan as one of the reason’s for Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election. It now seems to many that Trump is blatantly targeting anyone who criticizes him.
This is not the first time McRaven has criticized Mr. Trump. Back in February, he spoke out about the danger of Trump’s description of the media as “the enemy of the American people.”
”We must challenge this statement and this sentiment that the news media is the enemy of the American people. This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.’
‘There is nothing more important to a democracy than an active and engaged press. Is it perfect? Far from it. Does the media make mistakes? Far too often.
‘But flaws and all, I believe the free press is our country’s most important institution.’
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