Trump revoked Brennan's clearance for what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" against his administration, while also announcing that the White House is evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials.
Trump later told the Wall Street Journal his decision was connected to the ongoing federal probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and allegedly collusion by his presidential campaign.
“I call it the rigged witch hunt, (it) is a sham,” Trump said in an interview with the newspaper on Wednesday. “And these people led it.”
“It’s something that had to be done,” Trump added. -Reuters
Writing in the New York Times, Brennan - who led the CIA under President Obama, called Trump's denials of collusion with Russia "Hogwash," and vowed not to be silenced.
“The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of ‘Trump Incorporated’ attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets,” Brennan wrote in the Times.
Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him. -John Brennan
On Wednesday, Brennan tweeted that Trump's move "should gravely worry all Americans" as it is "part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics."
"I will not relent," he concludes...
This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent. https://t.co/TNzOxhP9ux— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 15, 2018
Brennan then ran to his 'safe space' at MSNBC and raged hard...“I do believe that Mr. Trump decided to take this action—as he's done with others—to try to intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration,”
“I do believe that Mr. Trump decided to take this action, as he’s done with others, to suppress any criticism of him or his administration … it’s his way of trying to get back at me.”— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 15, 2018
— John Brennan on @DeadlineWH after his security clearance was revoked. pic.twitter.com/xLqT4DZ1a7
Following the stripping of Brennan's clearance, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky praised the move, saying he urged Trump to do it.
“I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance,” Paul said in a press release. “I urged the President to do this.”
Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018
“I filibustered Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA in 2013, and his behavior in government and out of it demonstrate why he should not be allowed near classified information,” Paul said.
And in an op-ed for The Hill, former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka wrote that "No one has a right to a top secret clearance," adding:
The argument that some are making that the president’s decision in some way infringes John Brennan’s free speech rights is, in fact, absurd.
In the last few months, from his position as a paid commentator on MSNBC, John Brennan has repeatedly stated that the duly elected president of the United States is beholden to Vladimir Putin, potentially being blackmailed by him, and has gone as far as to call the president’s actions treasonous. This is a devastating charge to make, one that no other former cabinet-level political appointee has made about a sitting president. Ever. Yet, he does this without providing any evidence at all of his charge. -Sebastian Gorka
Meanwhile Trump supporters, such as Rep. Lee Zeldin, said that Brennan - who voted for a Communist for US President, "Should've never received the clearance in 1st place," and that he's "Now monetizing his position of former CIA Director w unhinged recklessness & insanity."
John Brennan’s sec clearance needs to be swapped for a straight jacket. Should’ve never received the clearance in 1st place. Literally admitted to voting Communist Party for US President. Now monetizing his position of former CIA Director w unhinged recklessness & insanity.— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) August 16, 2018
Nutty John Brennan was the 2016 CIA Director who allowed all this Russian hacking and interference to take place, despite being warned. He admits to voting for the communist party candidate for President. How did he ever have a security clearance?— MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) August 15, 2018
How did communist John Brennan get a security clearance in the first place— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 15, 2018
We can only imagine the op-eds, MSM rantings and #resist crowd responding en masse if and when the rest of the former Obama officials have their clearances stripped.