In a scathing press statement released Thursday, the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), explained why former CIA Director John Brennan’s accusations against President Trump and complaints about him stripping his security clearance don’t hold water.
At the White House press briefing Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Trump had revoked the security clearance of Brennan, an Obama-appointee who is now a security analyst at MSNBC, citing his “erratic conduct and behavior” and “wild outbursts,” and accusing him of “leveraging” his clearance to make false claims against the Trump administration.
In response, Brennan penned an op-ed in The New York Times condemning Trump’s actions and leveling more accusations of collusion.
“Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash,” wrote Brennan. “The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of ‘Trump Incorporated’ attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets.”
Citing the op-ed, Burr issued a rebuttal on Thursday that concisely picked apart Brennan’s arguments.
“Director Brennan’s recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power,” said Burr. “If Director Brennan’s statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn’t he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times.”
Burr concluded by suggesting that if Brennan doesn’t have any hard evidence, as appears to be the case, then Trump had every right to revoke his clearance.
“If, however, Director Brennan’s statement is purely political and based on conjecture, the president has full authority to revoke his security clearance as head of the Executive Branch,” he concludes.