US President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of several former top government officials because they have “politicized” and “monetized” them, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Monday.
Former CIA director John Brennan, former director of national security James Clapper and former FBI director James Comey are among the officials whose security clearances are at risk.
Trump also is considering revoking the security clearance held by former national security adviser Susan Rice, retired general Michael Hayden, and FBI agent Andrew McCabe, she said.
The officials in question have “politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances – making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate,” Sanders said.
Earlier Monday, Senator Rand Paul met with Trump and called for the revocation of the clearances. He specifically named Brennan, who said last week that Trump’s behaviour at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treasonous.”
Paul asked on Twitter whether Brennan is “monetizing” his security clearance and “making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media” with his attacks on Trump.
Brennan is a paid analyst for broadcaster MSNBC. Clapper is a paid analyst for CNN. Clapper called the threatened removal of his security clearance a “very, very petty thing to do.”