by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 23, 2018) — During Monday’s White House press conference, at approximately 2:45 p.m., White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, in response to a question specifically about former CIA Director John O. Brennan, that President Trump is “looking into” removing the security clearances still held by former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former NSA Director and CIA Director Michael Hayden, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Sanders stated that Trump’s concern lies with the “monetizing” by former government officials of their former public service by serving as commentators at news networks.  Another term Sanders used was “politicizing agencies and departments that are not meant to be political.”

Clapper is a commentator at CNN, while Brennan is a national security commentator at MSNBC.

Several follow-up questions were posed on the topic during the presser, with a female journalist demanding to know if Trump is simply punishing his “political opponents.”

Hayden, Clapper, Comey and Brennan have been virulently outspoken about their disagreement with and dislike of Trump, which Sanders called “baseless charges” against Trump.

A final question asked if former Vice President Joseph Biden and former White House occupant Barack Obama are on the list of individuals whose security clearances are under review, to which Sanders said to her knowledge, they are not.

The presser ended approximately ten minutes after it began, after which Fox News anchor Dana Perino, a former White House press secretary herself, said that normally government officials maintain their security clearances after a new administration takes office.




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