- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the revocation of former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance (all times local):

11:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is drawing a direct connection between the Russia investigation and his decision to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview Wednesday that his decision - and threat to revoke other clearances - stemmed from his frustrations with the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and potential collusion with his campaign.

Trump told the paper: “I call it the rigged witch hunt … a sham … And these people led it … So I think it’s something that had to be done.”

Trump has ordered a review for nine others who have clearances.

He told the Journal he doesn’t trust “many of those people on that list” and thinks “they’re very duplicitous” and “not good people.”


5:10 p.m.

Former CIA director John Brennan says President Donald Trump’s move to strip him of his national security clearance is “an abuse of power” by the president.

Brennan is reacting to the news in a phone interview with MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace.

He tells Wallace he believes the president’s action is aimed at trying to intimidate and suppress critics of him and his administration.

But Brennan says the move “is not going to deter” him.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced during Wednesday’s press briefing that Trump would be revoking Brennan’s clearance.

Brennan says he hasn’t been contacted by anyone in the government informing him of the decision and learned about the news on television.


4:10 p.m.

Democrats are lining up to denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, says Trump’s move is a “stunning abuse of power.”

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, warns a “dangerous precedent” is being set.

The White House announced Wednesday it will be cutting off Brennan’s access to classified information. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Brennan, who was CIA director under President Barack Obama, has been making “unfounded and outrageous allegations” against the administration.

Brennan called Trump’s behavior at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin “nothing short of treasonous.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland says of Trump, “Leaders behave like this in dictatorships, not democracies.”


2:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is revoking the security clearance of former Obama administration CIA director John Brennan.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the decision at a White House briefing Wednesday. Sanders is citing Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior” and accusing him of “lying” and “wild outbursts.”

Brennan has been deeply critical of Trump’s conduct.

Sanders says the security clearances of other current and formers officials are also “under review.”

They include former FBI Director James Comey; James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.

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