WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty former CIA officials are joining a chorus of national security professionals denouncing President Donald Trump’s decision to yank the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, one of the president’s harshest critics.
Trump says he pulled Brennan’s clearance because he had to do “something” about the “rigged” federal probe of Russian election interference. Trump says he expects to soon revoke the security clearance for a Justice Department official whose wife worked for a firm involved in producing a dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia.
Fifteen former top-ranking intelligence officials already have expressed strong opposition to Trump’s move.
On Friday, 60 former CIA officials joined them, saying former government officials have a right to express their views on national security issues without fear of being punished.
Meanwhile, Trump says he expects to “quickly” revoke the security clearance for the Justice Department official whose wife worked for the firm involved in producing the dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia.
Trump says the official, Bruce Ohr, is a “disgrace.”
Asked about Ohr’s security clearance, Trump said: “I suspect I’ll be taking it away very quickly. For him to be in the Justice Department and doing what he did, that is a disgrace.”
Ohr has come under Republican scrutiny for his contacts to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS. The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 presidential campaign to compile the dossier.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS during the campaign — something Trump has tweeted about to highlight his assertions of political bias behind the Russia investigation.