President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances from former intelligence officials who served under former President Barack Obama, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah 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,” Sanders said during the White House press briefing.
The list features prominent critics of the Obama administration who had access to top-secret intelligence. Sanders said that the president was concerned that former officials were politicizing their institutional knowledge from the country’s top intelligence agencies.
“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,” she said.
The list includes:
Former FBI Director James Comey
Former CIA Director John Brennan
Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice
Sanders responded to reporter questions after Sen. Rand Paul floated a suggestion about Trump taking away security clearances from Brennan. She said that Trump was concerned that their clearances were giving former officials undue legitimacy.
“The president contends to the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” Sanders said.
Trump has long focused on the gang of intelligence officials who have voiced their distaste for his presidency.
“You look at Brennan, you look at Clapper, you look at Hayden, you look at Comey, you look at McCabe, you look at Strzok and his lover, Lisa Page … certainly, I can’t have any confidence in the past,” he said in an interview with CBS anchor Jeff Glor last week.