White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Wednesday that former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance is being revoked. Reading a statement from President Donald Trump, Sanders said his clearance was being taken away due to his “erratic behavior” that “far exceeded the limits and far exceeded any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.” “Mr. Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility,” Sanders told reporters. High-level intelligence officials typically keep their clearances after they leave their agencies so that they can advise their successors.
Sanders also announced that the security clearances of Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and former FBI Agent Peter Strzok are under review. When asked why the White House has only considered revoking clearances for Trump critics, Sanders said the president has the responsibility to protect “classified info and who has access to it.” In taking away clearances, he was “fulfill[ing] that responsibility,” she added. This comes as Brennan tweeted Tuesday that Trump “will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person.” After his clearance was revoked, Brennan wrote that this was an effort by the president to “suppress freedom of speech & punish critics.” The White House announced last month that it was looking at revoking the clearances of other Trump critics, including former FBI Director James Comey.