Former Intel Chiefs: White House Using Security Clearances As A 'Political Tool'

Trump’s Punching Down Backfires

Trump’s Punching Down Backfires

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., June 21, 2017.

Trump's actions have been widely condemned, including by respected former admiral William McRaven, the commander of the US Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

In his letter McRaven also directly criticized President Trump saying "through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation".

"I don't know McRaven", Trump said before boarding Air Force One to go to a fundraiser in the Hamptons before heading to his Jersey golf club for the weekend, a visit he said was "going to be all work". This comes days after Trump told reporters that he blames Brennan and his other enemies in the intelligence community for Robert Mueller's investigation.

"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. Many have speculated that this fondness comes from personal insecurity, as Trump himself famously avoided military service during the Vietnam War - supposedly because he had "bone spurs".

According to The Hill, Trump spoke on Friday about Bruce Ohr, calling him a disgrace. At a summit in Finland last month, Trump drew criticism and outrage when he told reporters he accepted Putin's denial that Russian Federation had intervened in the 2016 presidential election - a stance in direct conflict with the US intelligence community's position. "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly", Trump told reporters on the South Lawn before leaving the White House for NY.

Just hours later, his explanation had changed.

"I don't think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it's factually relevant", said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney. "I think they're not good people".

Interested in Donald Trump? President Trump is reviewing security clearances for these individuals.

The move has united a who's who of former top intelligence officials who served under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Last year, in a speech at the University of Texas, he pushed back against Trump's assault on the news media as "the enemy of the American people".

That directly contradicted a July 2017 statement from Trump Jr. - written with the consultation of the White House - that claimed the meeting had been primarily about adoption.

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