Trump fires back at Navy admiral asking for revoked security clearance

Former Intel Chiefs: White House Using Security Clearances As A 'Political Tool'

Bruce Ohr Could Lose Job at Dept. of Justice If Security Clearance is Revoked

Former top U.S. intelligence officials sharply rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday for stripping one-time CIA director John Brennan's security clearance, but Trump defended his move and said he planned at least one more revocation.

President Donald Trump said today that he suspects he'll "very quickly" revoke the security clearance for a Justice Department official whose wife worked for the firm involved in producing a dossier on Trump's ties to Russian Federation.

Ohr's wife worked for Fusion GPS.

Trump has indicated he also was considering revoking security clearances for other critics, including Clapper and Hayden, former national security adviser Susan E. Rice, former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey, former Federal Bureau of Investigation officials Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates and Ohr.

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Mr Trump says he is reviewing security clearances for nine other individuals, including the eight pictured, alongside former FBI Director James Comey. "In many cases, I've given him a bigger voice".

"I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace", he said. Trump said, nevertheless, that Mueller should be allowed to finish a report on Russia's interference in the 2016 USA presidential election. Many have speculated that this fondness comes from personal insecurity, as Trump himself famously avoided military service during the Vietnam War - supposedly because he had "bone spurs".

Patrick Cotter, a former assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of NY and a longtime white-collar defense attorney, said that while a prosecutor could argue that Trump's targeting of clearances was intended as a warning that "if you contribute to, participate in, support the Russian Federation probe and I find out about it, I'm going to punish you", it is likely not obstruction in itself.

The president's comments were a swift departure from the official explanation given by the White House earlier Wednesday that cited the "the risks" posed by Brennan's alleged "erratic conduct and behavior".

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Burr says if the claim is based on intelligence Brennan received while CIA director, it should have been included in the 2017 US intelligence assessment of Russian meddling in the election.

During an appearance Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" on the Fox News Channel, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump's action.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham", Trump was quoted as saying in the interview. On Tuesday, Brennan lambasted Trump's personal character after he derided former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman as a "dog".

The first letter's other signees include former Directors of Central Intelligence Robert Gates, William Webster, George Tenet and Porter Goss; former CIA Directors Gen. Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Gen. David Petraeus; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; and former deputy CIA directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Avril Haines, David Cohen and Michael Morell, who is also a CBS News senior national security contributor.

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Trump later said that he stripped Brennan's clearance because of his role in investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

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