Former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan said on Tuesday that he is unsure whether the Trump administration has actually rescinded his security clearance, suggesting that officials charged with the task may not be on board.
“I don’t know,” Brennan said on MSNBC. “The only thing I’ve heard about my security clearance from the government is when [White House Press Secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the podium my clearance had been stripped. I’ve not been contacted by anybody at all either before or since then. So whether or not my clearance has been stripped I’m still uncertain about. But she said it, she read something from Donald Trump.”
President Trump revoked Brennan’s clearance earlier this month, citing the former intelligence chief’s “erratic conduct and behavior,” and what he called “a series of unfounded and outrageous statements, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration.”
The process for revoking security clearances has “very clear guidelines,” said Brennan, who has been an outspoken critic of the president. But “in this current administration, process seems to be thrown out the door. So the Trump Administration did not follow the guidelines that they, in fact, affirmed last year, about how to deal with security-clearance revocations.”
“I have no idea,” Brennan said when asked whether the administration might be walking back its decision. He speculated that officials tapped to draft the memo explaining why his clearance was stripped might be hesitant to follow through.
“Given that I think everybody believes that the rationale for stripping me of my clearance is bogus,” he said, “I’m sure there are some people who are scratching their head right now, who are maybe have to put together the memorandum, to say why I was stripped of my clearances, other than the fact that Mr. Trump might not like me. Which is not a valid reason.”
“So I’m still waiting to hear,” Brennan concluded. “They have my contact information but I have not yet heard.”