Political Speech

Trump Revokes Former CIA Director’s Security Clearance

John Brennan
Former CIA Director John Brennan departs from a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

News & Updates

President Trump implied that the reasoning behind why he revoked John Brennan’s security clearance is because of criticism, noting in a tweet that Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “is being nice” to him to keep his clearance.

Huffington Post The Hill
August 16, 2018: Brennan Fires Back At Trump Saying Move Was “Politically Motivated” 

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Brennan argues that the gesture was an attempt by Trump to silence “anyone who would dare challenge him.”

New York Times

President Trump blamed Brennan for the ongoing special counsel investigation into alleged Russian interference with the 2016 election and drew a connection to the removal of his security clearance in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. 

Wall Street Journal
August 15, 2018: Ex-CIA Director’s Security Clearance Revoked, Other Critics Under Consideration

President Trump revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, citing what he calls “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and on television” about his administration. The Trump administration is evaluating the clearances of other law enforcement and intelligence officials as well.

Brennan responded to the action saying that the action is part of a broader effort for Trump to suppress freedom of speech.

Brennan, who served in roles under the Obama and Bush administrations, has been a vocal critic of President Trump’s. Just a day prior, Brennan slammed President Trump’s standards of civility in a tweet.


NBC Vox Reuters

Opinion & Analysis

Jeffrey H. Smith, former general counsel of the CIA, writes on President Trump’s “unprecedented decision” to revoke Brennan’s security clearence: 

“I believe the president has grossly abused his authority and violated Mr. Brennan’s First Amendment right to speak freely. The president’s actions are therefore unconstitutional and demand a response from Congress.”

The New York Times