Trump Brushes Off Criticism from Adm. McRaven: 'Don't Know Him'

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Former U.S. security officials issued scathing rebukes to President Donald Trump on Thursday, admonishing him for yanking former Central Intelligence Agency chief John Brennan's security clearance in what they cast as an act of political vengeance.

Mr Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden have appeared on a White House list of people who may also have their security clearances revoked.

"There's no silence", Trump said.

Mr. Ohr's wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, the company paid by Democrats to dig up dirt on Mr. Trump, including hiring Christopher Steele, the former British spy who wrote the controversial dossier.

Asked about Ohr's security clearance, Trump said: "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly".

And it underscores why the president's lawyers are fearful of allowing Trump to sit down for an interview with Mueller's team, as Trump has repeatedly said he is interested in doing.

"We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool as was done in this case".

William McRaven, a retired four-star admiral who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid, directly addressed Trump in a Washington Post op-ed published online Thursday.

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Former U.S. security officials on Thursday issued scathing rebukes to Trump for moving against Brennan.

President Trump said Friday his next target for stripping security clearance is high-ranking Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, and said it will probably happen quickly.

Trump has told advisers that he is eager to strip more security clearances as part of an escalating attack on people who have criticized him or played a role in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. There has been speculation, according to the Washington Examiner, that Trump could try removing Bob Mueller's security clearance, as a tactic to end the investigation.

While ignoring McRaven's criticism, Trump said he had been buoyed by support for his action against Brennan, a persistent critic who said Trump's behavior was "treasonous" in his Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

The newspaper reports that Trump called the investigation a "rigged witch hunt. a sham" and went on to declare, "And these people led it".

Sen. Richard Burr said Thursday that Brennan is purporting to know - as fact - that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power.

"I don't know McRaven", Trump said. Trump fired Comey a year ago.

Trump's comments, made to reporters as he boarded Marine One en route to a Republican campaign event in NY, came amid rising criticism of the president for using security clearances as a political tool. The signers - who served in Democratic and Republican administrations - called Trump's action "ill-considered".

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