James Clapper on Possible Clearance Removal: Trump Is "Petty," This Is "Retribution For Speaking Out"


Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reacts to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee's announcement that President Trump may move to revoke his security clearance.

"Not only is the president looking to take away [John] Brennan's security clearance, he's also looking into the security clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe. The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they've politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances," Sanders said at Monday's White House briefing.

In a phone interview with CNN, where he is a contributor, Clapper called Trump's move "petty."

"This is retribution for speaking out against the president," Clapper said.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DNI: Well, it's interesting news. I'm reading it and learning about it just as you are. I think it's off the top of my head a sad commentary. For political reasons this is a petty way of retribution, I suppose for speaking out against the president which I think on the part of all of us, are borne out of genuine concerns about President Trump.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, one of the words she used, she referred to you all as politicizing and that you've monetized, essentially, your security clearance by you along with a number of other folks on the screen come on TV, paid contributor, with the security clearance to say how you feel about the president, and they don't like it, apparently.

CLAPPER: Well, the security clearance has nothing to do with how I or any of us feel about the president. And I don't get the briefings. I don't have access to classified information. It's frankly more of a courtesy that former senior officials get the security clearance. Haven't had a case of using it. Has no bearing on my regard or lack thereof for President Trump or what he's doing.

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