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New outcry over Trump’s revocation of John Brennan’s security clearance

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More than 175 former State Department and Pentagon officials added their names to a statement signed by national security officials criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the security clearance of former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan.

New signatories to the statement, which was initially issued last week by 15 former directors and deputy chiefs of the CIA and Office of Director of National Intelligence, include former political appointees and career civil servants. They worked under both Democratic and Republican presidents.

Among the most prominent individuals to sign a new version of the statement released on Monday by senior officials from the George W. Bush and Obama administrations are former State Department and National Security Counsel lawyer John Bellinger, former Deputy Secretaries of State Anthony Blinken and William Burns, former Undersecretaries of State Nicholas Burns, Wendy Sherman and Thomas Pickering.

Also, former National Security Agency general counsel Robert Deitz, former National Counterterrorism Center directors Michael Leiter and Nick Rasmussen, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and former NATO commander Admiral James Stavridis.

While those signing may not agree with all of Brennan’s public attacks on Trump, the statement reads, they believe that “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied” before expert former officials are allowed to voice their views.

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Trump said last week he was considering withdrawing clearances for other former high-ranking officials as well as Bruce Ohr, a current Justice Department official in the criminal division.

Brennan, who has publicly characterized Trump’s comments at a recent summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as “treasonous,” has said he might sue the Trump administration over the revocation of his clearance.

“I am going to do whatever I can to try to prevent these abuses in the future, and if it means going to court, I will do that,” he said on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” television program.

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On Monday Trump blasted the new individuals who signed and said that while he hopes Brennan files a lawsuit, he doubted that would happen. He also questioned whether U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recused himself from his department’s probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, would fire Ohr.

Russia has denied any election interference, and Trump has said there was no collusion with his campaign team.

“Everybody wants to keep their Security Clearance, it’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even board seats, and that is why certain people are coming forward to protect Brennan,” Trump said in a series of posts on Twitter.

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Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEALs operation that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, last week responded to Trump’s move by praising Brennan and asking the president to revoke his security clearance as well.

Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Kellyanne Conway flips out after Fox News asks her about her Trump-hating husband

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During a Fox News interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Fox anchor Bill Hemmer tried to ask her about her husband, Trump-skeptic conservative lawyer George Conway, who just publicly called President Donald Trump a racist — and Conway was not happy.

"We're tight on time," said Hemmer. "Your husband penned a piece in the Washington Post. The title, 'I denied that Trump is a racist. Not anymore.' You've seen it. Do you agree with your husband?"

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‘What are things a racist says?’: Trump mercilessly mocked for saying ‘I don’t have a racist bone in my body!’

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President Donald Trump extended his attacks on the four progressive Democratic Congresswomen Tuesday morning, tweeting several sets of attacks against them, culminating with tweets that set the Internet on fire.

"Those Tweets were NOT Racist," the President said of his racist tweets. "I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!" he added, which drew immediate and intense reaction.

Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap. This should be a vote on the filthy language, statements and lies told by the Democrat.....

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Liz Cheney calls Dem congresswomen ‘racists’ and baby killers instead of condemning Trump’s bigoted tweets

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on Tuesday responded to President Donald Trump's racist tweets by suggesting that Democrats are baby killers if they support abortion.

At a press conference at the Capitol, Republican leaders -- including Cheney -- refused to condemn Trump's tweets which suggested that four Democratic congresswomen of color should go back to their home country even though all four are American citizens.

Instead of calling the tweets racists, Cheney branded Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Rashida Tlaib (MI) as "socialists."

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