Transcript for 60 former CIA officers condemn Trump for revoking security clearance
We start with the war of words between the president of the United States and the man who until recently ran the C. Overt former CIA director John Brennan blasting president trump for revoking his security clearance. This as “Thwashington pt” reports the white Hou has drafted docents revoking current or formeofficials who either criticized the president or was involved in the Russian probe. Tara Palmeri is in new jerseyhere the president is spending the weekend. Taragood morning. Good morning, guys. That’s is does not seem to be ending any time soon. Jo Brennan said he’ll still fight for those officials who still have their clearances. Rorter: John Brennan stripped of his security clearance calling it an egregious act. Vowing to fightack. The fact he’s using the security clearance of a former cictor as a pawn I think Henk on power. Reporter: The white house said it’s not about settling scores, but many saying he’s sending a strong message this critics. Nouncing the Obama CIA director won have clearance citing his erratic behavior. And wild outbursts on the internet. I’ve haa tremendous respse for having done that. Reporter: What do you say to those who say you’re trying to lence your critics? If anything I’m giving him a bigger voice. Reporter: Bnnan an unabashe critic of the present who called president trump’s meetinwith Vladimir Putin treasonous. Saying he won’t be silenced. I wl fight for the who still have their clearances. Reporter: 60 former CIA officers signed an on letter on Friday condemning the president’s decision. Adding their list — names to the list and calling trump’s decision an attempt to stifle free speech. These are not the type people W are going to be bullied or intimidated by meone of the likes of Mr. Trump. Reporter: President trump eager to pull more security clearances from current or former officials who have been critical of him or involved in the Russia investigation. Hinext target Bruce oh whose wife worked for the firm who compelled the Steele dossier. Before taking off for a fund raiser in New York the president not holding back I think Bruce Ohr is a dice I suspect I’ll be taking it away very quickly. Reporter: The white house said it’s currently scrutinizing E security clearances of eight former and current officials including former FBI director James Comey. It’s unclear if he has a security clearance because he was fired. Dan. Tara, I think a L of people are wondering why did these former officials need security clearances at all if they’re not working for the government? Tt’s a good question, Dan. They can ask the government for security briefings on certain topics. They’re often brought inecause ofheir former expertise. At the same time critics say they use this information to monetize it in the public sector. Critics in T white house saying that John Brennan is using it for political purposes. Lmeri in New Jersey. Where the present is spending the ekend. Tara, thank you. Let’s bring in Matthew dowd. He’s in Texas this morning. Matthew, good morning. The argument from the president’s supporters as you hewhy should John Brennan have security clearance? He’s become pretty political. Since he left office. He’s accused the president of treason. ‘S not like administration is going to call him up and ask for advice. What do you say about all this? As Tara said, a huge part is the current administration, whoever that might be, docrat or Republican, depends on people with years of experience. It’s not as if they go O and seek to have these briefings. They give these briefings because people might want their experience on what might hapn on national security issues. If this wasn’t a political decision why didn’t heevoke is the security cleance of general Flynn andohn on, both of whomre incdibly litical. John Brennan has had a lot to say. He’s been very critical of the president. The president hasn’t made this decision in a bipartisan way. It’s people only critical of him D nobody political on his behalf. Mel Flynn the former national security adviser. John Bolton the current national security advice. Let’s switch to another major story T of trump world. The ongoing trial of Paul manafort who ranrump’s campaign for many months. E jury is deliberating. In the midst of all this the presidenis weighinin in an extraordinary way. Take a listen. When you look at what’s going on there, I think it’s aery sad day for our country. He worked me for a very short peod of time. You know what, he happens to be very good pe. I think it’sy sad what they’ve done to ul manafort. So critics are sayinghat the ent may be ting to send a message to the jurors or to manafort himself. What’s your take? Well, don’t attribute a lot of grand strategy to the president on this. I don’t think he thinks sitting there in the oval office I’m going to do this and it’s going to affect the jury a in some way might help manort get off in all this. I don’t think he’s thinking about this. I think the presidt viscerally responds. He’spset about it. That’s on one hand. The problem is it’s not circumspect to do this in the middle of a trial. I can’t think of another presideno has spoken out publicly while a trial is going on for someone who worked for him and saying he taught of that person in the midst of this. On the one hand, I don’t attrib some grand strategy. M willing to bet his lawyer if they could tell him not to do it, would tell him not to do it. The president shouldn’t be weighing in. Att, we appreciate it.
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