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Trump Cites Russia Probe, 'Erratic Behavior' in Decision to Yank Ex-CIA Chief's Security Clearance 

08-15-2018
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WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump warned he would revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and on Wednesday he did just that, pointing to Brennan's "erratic behavior" and work dealing with the Russia investigation. 
 
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders made the announcement at her daily briefing. 
 
"Mr. Brennan's lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzying commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets," she read from a statement by Trump. 
 
Brennan, an MSNBC contributor, reacted hours later on the network. 
 
"I've seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants," he said. "I never thought I would see it here in the United States." 
 
Brennan also took to Twitter, accusing Trump of suppressing freedom of speech and adding that he "will not relent." 
 
Sanders also listed others who could lose their clearance, including several who were involved in the Russia investigation: James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr. 
 
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump called the Russia investigation a "rigged witch hunt" and pointed his finger at the people on that list. 
 
"These people led it," he said. "I think that they're very duplicitous. I think they're not good people."  
 
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) called Trump's action "Nixonian," telling reporters that it appears to be an "enemies list." 
 
"These people are being singled out," said Warner. "Smacks of Nixonian type practices of trying to silence anyone who's willing to criticize this president."

Brennan is one of Trump's harshest critics and after the Russia summit called Trump's behavior "treasonous" and accused him of being in Vladimir Putin's "pocket." 
 
Trump's attorney, Rudy Guiliani, says Brennan, who was CIA director under President Barack Obama, "quarterbacked" the Russia investigation. 
 
"The guy running it is Brennan and he should be in front of a grand jury. Brennan took an affidavit – a dossier, unless he's the biggest idiot intelligence agent that ever existed, although he never did much intelligence work, it's false," Guiliani told Fox News. "You could look at it and laugh at it and he peddled it to Harry Reid and that led to the request for the investigation."

In that same interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump accused some on the list of lying to Congress. He also called the Hillary Clinton email investigation "a sham" and said that taking this action was something that had to be done.

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