A report claims that members of the intelligence community privately support revoking the security clearances of former CIA Director John Brennan and ex-DNI Head James Clapper, who they accuse of weaponizing access to classified information against the Trump administration.
Lee Smith of RealClearInvestigations writes:
President Trump has been criticized for politicizing the intelligence community by threatening to strip the security clearances of former top officials including John Brennan and James Clapper. But numerous past and present senior intelligence officials say that the Obama administration started the politicization — and that revoking the clearances of those who abuse the privilege for partisan purposes may help right the ship.
“As is often the case with the Trump administration, the rollout of the policy is bad, but the idea driving the policy is sound,” said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke to RealClearInvestigations only on condition of anonymity. “Under some Obama-era intelligence chiefs, intelligence was used as a political weapon. We need to root that out, not reward it.”
It is not clear if the White House is moving forward on Trump’s threats last month to revoke those clearances. After Brennan’s continued media attacks on Trump following the Helsinki summit with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Sen. Rand Paul advised the president to strip him of his clearance. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.
Some sources say former CIA director Brennan, ex-director of national intelligence Clapper and others with security clearances were emboldened to pursue political agendas through the anti-Trump media, in a climate of impunity created by the Justice Department’s failure to prosecute leaks attending Donald Trump’s election. Notable among the leaks, they said, was a top unnamed official’s “unmasking” of Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn in a January 2017 Washington Post column by David Ignatius, sourced to classified intercepts of Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador. Leaking such classified information is a felony.
“The very people who are now talking the most know the details of how the Flynn intercept was leaked,” a senior U.S. official told RealClearInvestigations. “They wouldn’t be out talking like that if they’d been interviewed by the FBI.”
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