Trump gleefully tweeted on Friday about the backlash Andrew Cuomo is experiencing after his taken-out-of-context “America was never that great” statement, but is ignoring the much more significant backlash Trump is receiving after the White House’s announcement that former CIA Director John Brennan was having his security clearance revoked.
A dozen former U.S. intelligence chiefs signed a harshly worded letter in support of former CIA Director John Brennan, blasting Trump's 'deeply regrettable' move https://t.co/CNTyG1Mf5A pic.twitter.com/Gs5IQdq7RK
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) August 17, 2018
Several intelligence officials have rebuked the president for his actions and jointly signed a letter to the White House expressing their outrage. The latest signer is former Director of Central Intelligence Robert Gates, who served under both George H. W. Bush and Barack Obama and was nominated to the position by Bush, a Republican.
Pretty unprecedented statement here, signed by more than a dozen former senior intelligence officials. Robert Gates, former SecDef, also added his name to the list.https://t.co/dEiICzjAvQ pic.twitter.com/BF2yUuxg1D
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) August 17, 2018
As CBS News points out, those who have signed the letter thus far “include past CIA directors of every administration going back to President Reagan’s.” The letter states that:
‘We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech.’
Not only is there absolutely no evidence that Brennan leaked classified information or did anything else illegal with the information he learned from his security briefings, Trump himself told The Wall Street Journal that he punished Brennan over his involvement in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Kremlin-linked government operatives.
This is, of course, not the first firing of a longtime government official issued to silence them on the Mueller investigation. The most famous one, and the one that could very well prove that Trump committed the crime of obstruction of justice, was former FBI Director James Comey.
— James Comey (@Comey) August 16, 2018
In both an interview with Lester Holt and behind closed doors with Russian officials, Trump admitted that he fired Comey over the Russia investigation. Since, he has denied that, saying he fired Comey for his handling of the Clinton case and for leaking information, which Comey was authorized to do, about the Clinton investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
Retired Navy General William McRaven, who oversaw the Navy SEAL raid that ended in the death of Osama bin Laden, made headlines with a scathing op-ed asking Trump to revoke his security clearance, as well, so he could join a list as distinguished as one that includes Brennan’s name.
‘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.’
Not in this photo is Adm. Bill McRaven, who was in the field directing the bin Laden mission. To Trump: “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." pic.twitter.com/rFdP0EbIRF
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) August 17, 2018
Other names under consideration to have their security clearance revoked include Comey, former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, DOJ official Bruce Ohr, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Director of National Security Michael Hayden, Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former deputy Attorney General Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
Trump is crossing off his "enemies list" one by one….. https://t.co/93kkRtuZVB
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) August 17, 2018
Each of the names on the list include those who were either involved in the Russia investigation and/or have spoken out against Trump.
Featured image screenshot via Twitter by @crooksandliars