Paul Ryan Dismisses President Trump's Security Clearance Revocation Threat As 'Trolling'

Win McNamee Drew Angerer  Getty NBC News

Win McNamee Drew Angerer Getty NBC News

Trump threatened to revoke security clearances of several former intelligence officials that served under President Obama for criticizing Trump and his policies.

"What else might the president decide we're not entitled to?"

Clapper said there were no grounds for dismissing his clearance, and that the White House's actions were directed exclusively at "people who have criticized the president". Trump has called the probe a witch hunt and denied collusion. Each man worked for Republican and Democratic presidents and never sought to enter politics - but both have said they feel compelled to speak out because they see the country's institutions in peril.

A decision to strip a former official of a security clearance would prove a striking use of presidential power.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted that he discussed the issue with Trump at the White House yesterday. Some people keep their clearances.

Anyone "who abuses their security clearance" to "politicize intelligence" or leak selective information should have their access pulled, according to former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy.

Hayden tweeted on Monday (Tuesday NZT) that revoking his security clearance wouldn't "have any effect on what I say or write".

Sanders accused the officials of having "politicised and in some cases monetised their public service and security clearances" by making "baseless accusations" that the Trump administration had improper contact with Russian Federation or was influenced by Russian Federation. Trump's performance in a joint news conference with Putin was panned by lawmakers in both parties, who said Trump should have more aggressively confronted the Russian leader about interference in the USA election in 2016.

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"We're exploring what those options are and what that looks like", she said of the process for removing the officials clearances. He said taking it away is just a "very, very petty thing to do". The President has a habit of picking up ideas from the Fox News vortex and turning them into political fodder.

"You would think the White House would check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps", Ms Schwartz said.

Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy specialist with the Federation of American Scientists, said Trump probably has the legal authority to do it, given his status as commander-in-chief.

"They've politicised and in some cases monetised their public service and security clearances", Sanders said during the daily briefing.

Asked if he was comfortable with Mr. Trump once again sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the White House said Mr. Trump asked National Security Adviser John Bolton to invite him for a visit in the fall, Ryan the Congress certainly "will not be giving him an invitation to do a joint session".

"This is absolute nonsense, and we shouldn't fall for it", said Rachel Cohen, spokeswoman for Senator Mark Warner, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Brennan, Clapper, Hayden and Rice have all been critical of Trump's foreign policy, including the US president's embrace of Russian President Vladimir at a summit in Helsinki.

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