Trump 'cites Russian Federation probe' after ending ex-CIA head's security access

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Nicholas Rostow, who served as a national security aide to George W. Bush and has been critical of the Trump administration on some national security matters, noted the only other Central Intelligence Agency director to have a clearance revoked was John Deutch in the Clinton administration.

"With regard to the implied threat today that I could lose my clearance, that will have no impact on what I think, say or write", Hayden wrote.

Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on May 23, 2017.

He tweeted: "It's astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity".

Last month he called the USA president's performance at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland "nothing short of treasonous".

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"I think he is dishonest, he lacks integrity, he has very questionable ethics and morality, and he views the world through a prism of 'how it's going to help Donald Trump?'" Brennan said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered in April. But the tweets and statements made on MSNBC were not just critical in nature but in some cases accused Trump of treason and alluded to unverified rumors that Russian Federation was blackmailing Trump.

Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump's act "unbecoming of a President", and warned that it would only embolden Brennan in his public crusade against Trump.

"The issue of Mr. Brennan's security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our Nation's most sensitive secrets long after their time in Government has ended", Trump said in a statement read aloud at the White House press briefing on Wednesday.

He went on to tell CNN that "it's nearly as if they wanted us to implicitly sign a no disparagement agreement" - a reference to gag orders which Trump often insists on for civilian staff.

Brennan spread the claims from the dossier to the Gang of Eight, the Congress members privy to classified information.

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It has been customary to allow former senior officials to keep their clearances so current officials can consult with them.

On Twitter he added: "This action is part of a broader effort by Mr Trump to suppress free speech and punish critics".

James Clapper, former United States director of national intelligence. Asked what linked those threatened by the White House, Clapper said he and the others have been outspoken about the Trump administration, have "directly run afoul of it" or have taken actions the president dislikes.

At least temporarily, this drew cable news coverage away from former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, her tell-all book and the president's insult-laden response to it, which had been dominating the airwaves for days.

Trump's erratic behavior and warm words for Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose agents interfered in the 2016 election to help the Republican, have turned many former foreign policy officials against him, from both Republican and Democratic administrations.

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Trump and current and former White House and campaign officials dispute the claims of such a tape. Manigault Newman's exit does highlight the lack of diversity among Trump's top aides.