Ex CIA directors issue unprecedented Donald Trump condemnation

Ex CIA directors issue unprecedented Donald Trump condemnation

Ex CIA directors issue unprecedented Donald Trump condemnation

The letter, which comes after Trump's decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance, was signed by former CIA officials who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations in positions such as analysts, senior analysts and officers. Many people don't even know who he is, and now he's a bigger voice, and that's okay with me, because I like taking on voices like that.

Ohr has come under Republican scrutiny for his contacts to Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS.

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period.

Retired Navy Admiral William McCraven, who oversaw the 2011 Navy Seal raid that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden, released an editorial through the Washington Post Thursday, responding to the revocation of John Brennan's security clearance.

Trump has denied that he stripped Brennan's security clearance to silence a critic.

The president commented on the issue as he left the White House to travel to Bedminster, New Jersey.

"I think that Bruce Ohr is a disgrace, with his wife, Nellie", Trump told reporters outside the White House.

"We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool as was done in this case".

Patrick Cotter, a former assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of NY and a longtime white-collar defense attorney, said that while a prosecutor could argue that Trump's targeting of clearances was intended as a warning that "if you contribute to, participate in, support the Russian Federation probe and I find out about it, I'm going to punish you", it is likely not obstruction in itself.

He cited Sen. Richard Burr's criticism of Brennan for not briefing Congress if he believed that the president was colluding with Russian Federation.

In August 2016, just two days after Brennan briefed Senator Harry Reid and other members on Russian interference in the election, the Nevada senator wrote a letter to then-FBI director James Comey, calling the FBI to investigate Trump's campaign.

Trump repeatedly has called the probe a "witch hunt" and sought to discredit those involved in it.

During an appearance Thursday morning on "Fox & Friends" on the Fox News Channel, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump's action.

According to The Hill, Trump spoke on Friday about Bruce Ohr, calling him a disgrace. Trump says he is reviewing security clearances for nine other individuals, including the eight pictured.

The signees include six former CIA directors, five former deputy directors and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

"Mr. Brennan's lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nations' most closely held secrets", Trump said.

Putin told reporters in Helsinki, while standing next to Trump, that he had wanted the former NY businessman to win the White House.

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