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Trump ends ex-CIA head John Brennan’s security access

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Reuters

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John Brennan stepped down as CIA director in January 2017

Donald Trump has revoked the security clearance of ex-CIA chief John Brennan, denying the US president’s critic of any access to sensitive information.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced the decision by reading a statement from Mr Trump.

The statement cited Mr Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behaviour”.

Mr Brennan said Mr Trump’s performance at a briefing after July’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treasonous”.

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Last year, Mr Brennan said an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia during the US presidential elections in 2016 was “well-founded”.

President Trump has repeatedly denied the claim, calling it “witch hunt”.

And only on Wednesday, Mr Brennan tweeted at the president: “It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation.”

What did President Trump’s statement say?

“As the head of the executive branch and commander-in-chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it.

“I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Getty Images

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President Trump is reviewing access to classified information to several other former high-ranking US officials

“Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors, regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy.

“Neither of these justifications supports Mr Brennan’s continued access to classified information.”

The statement added that Mr Trump was also reviewing access to classified information for former FBI chief James Comey, who he fired last year, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Sally Yates, among others.

What have they said?

John Brennan: He has described Mr Trump’s performance at a joint news conference with President Putin in Helsinki, Finland, as “nothing short of treasonous”.

James Comey: He has called the president “morally unfit” to lead. His memoir, A Higher Loyalty, likened Mr Trump to a mob boss.

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James Clapper: He has said the Watergate scandal “pales in comparison” to the Russia collusion inquiry dogging the Trump presidency.

Michael Hayden: In a naked jab at the Trump administration, the former NSA director tweeted a photo in June of a Nazi death camp with the caption: “Other governments have separated mothers and children.”

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