Another day, another wild tweet from President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Aug. 21, he took to Twitter to address reports alleging that his advisers suggested he deny intelligence briefings to President Barack Obama, and Donald Trump's tweet about Barack Obama's security clearance doesn't hold back one bit. What else would you expect, though?
The tweet was ignited by an Aug. 20 report from The New Yorker, which claimed some of Trump's advisers recommended in spring 2017 — amid Trump's accusations of Obama wiretapping Trump Tower — that he should restrict the former president's access to intelligence briefings. The outlet claimed that he'd only decided against barring Obama's security clearance on the advice of then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Trump addressed the report in a very vehement tweet on Aug. 21, saying that he "never discussed or thought of" revoking Obama's security clearance while slamming the publication as — you guessed it — "Fake News." The tweet read:
Fake News, of which there is soooo much (this time the very tired New Yorker) falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama. Never discussed or thought of!
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on any considerations about Obama's security clearance, but did not immediately hear back.
What's ironic here is the fact that Trump is already looking at revoking the security clearances of Obama-era officials who have criticized him. So Trump's suggestion that he would never take this "extraordinary step" of revoking Obama's, who has also been a critic of his, just seems debatable.
If you missed it, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a news conference on July 23 that Trump is exploring "mechanisms" to revoke security clearances from a slew of Obama-era officials, including former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former NSA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. According to The New York Post, Trump is angry at them for making "baseless" claims against him, including criticism regarding the Russia investigation and his friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The president is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearances because they’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and their security clearances, making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate.
Since the announcement, the White House has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and placed the clearances of several others under review. Sanders shared a statement from Trump on his decision to rescind Brennan's clearance on Aug. 15, which said, per Politico:
Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this administration.
With so many former administration officials criticizing Trump by the day, it's hard to tell who might be next up to have their security clearances ripped. But considering his lengthy list of potential targets, it's not entirely surprising that this report came up in the first place.