Former CIA Director Michael Hayden says U.S. President Donald Trump’s determination to revoke the safety clearance of one other former CIA chief, John Brennan, was undemocratic and a menace to the “broad strategy of how we govern ourselves.”
Hayden informed VOA that Brennan had not acted in a approach that match any of the 13 standards that exist for eradicating somebody’s safety clearance, and that Trump made his determination due to Brennan’s political speech.
“That is unacceptable by the federal government, for the president of the USA,” he stated.
Brennan has been extraordinarily essential and outspoken concerning the president’s conduct, for instance, calling Trump’s efficiency at a joint press convention final month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland “nothing in need of treasonous.”
Final week, in response to a Trump tweet calling his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman a “canine,” Brennan stated of Trump, “It’s astounding how usually you fail to reside as much as minimal requirements of decency, civility and probity.”
The following day, Trump stripped Brennan’s clearance, accusing him in a press release of sowing “division and chaos” about Trump’s administration and having “a historical past that calls into query his objectivity and credibility.”
Trump additional threatened to revoke safety clearances from others.
Hayden and a gaggle of former senior intelligence officers who labored underneath Democratic and Republican presidents signed a joint assertion criticizing what they known as Trump’s “ill-considered and unprecedented” actions. Since then, greater than 200 former nationwide safety officers have expressed their opposition to the revocation of Brennan’s clearance.
“The president’s actions — threatening a gaggle, taking the clearance away from John — was a message to the American intelligence group and different truth-tellers in and outdoors of presidency that given the chance this president will punish you for saying issues with which he disagrees or just for saying issues that make him sad,” Hayden informed VOA. “That’s not how a democracy works.”
Some Republican lawmakers have come out in assist of Trump’s motion, together with Sen. Rand Paul who stated Brennan’s “conduct in authorities and out of it show why he shouldn’t be allowed close to labeled data.”
For the reason that revocation final week, Brennan has threatened to sue Trump, saying on NBC’s Meet the Press he’ll take that step if essential to “forestall these abuses sooner or later.”
And Trump has continued his criticism of Brennan on Twitter. In a collection of posts, Trump stated he hopes Brennan information a lawsuit, that he was the worst CIA chief in historical past, and that particular counsel Robert Mueller needs to be investigating Brennan and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Leon Panetta, a former White Home chief of employees, CIA director and protection chief, stated in an interview with VOA contributor Greta Van Susteren the USA is a rustic that believes in free speech and that disagreeing with somebody doesn’t take away their proper to precise their views.
“That proper to free speech is necessary to our structure and it’s necessary to our democracy,” Panetta stated. “So I feel the president has to be taught that simply because he doesn’t like what someone says, that he doesn’t have to make use of nationwide safety points and a safety clearance to retaliate towards that particular person. That then is getting used for the aim of diminishing your proper to free speech, and that I feel is what considerations us and what considerations the nation.”