President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Wednesday that she cited "the risk of his unpredictable behavior and behavior."
Brennan is a leading critic of Trump, who only sharply accused the president on Tuesday when he called his former advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman "this dog."
Trump is also reviewing security clearances from other former officials including former FBI director James B. Comey, Sanders sent during a regular White House news broadcast.
"First of all, at this juncture of my term, all the benefits that senior officials could gain from discussions with Mr. Brennan are outweighed by the risk of his unpredictable behavior and behavior," Trump said in a statement Sanders had read on Wednesday at his briefing ,
"Second, this behavior and behavior has tested and far exceeded the bounds of any professional courtesy he may be entitled to," Trump said in the statement. "Mr. Brennan has a story that challenges his objectivity and credibility."
Last month, Sanders said Trump "wanted to take away the fires of Brennan, Comey, and some of the other senior high-ranking national security and intelligence officials who served in the governments of George W. Bush and Barack Obama."
These officials included former CIA Director Michael V. Hayden, former National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, former National Security Director James R. Clapper Jr. and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
On Wednesday, Sanders added the list to former Deputy Prosecutor General Sally Q. Yates, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and former Justice Bruce Ohr.
Yates was fired by Trump last year defied the president and ordered federal prosecutors not to defend his controversial travel ban. Strzok and Page, two of Trump's favorite targets on Twitter, became the focus of Republican efforts, the Russia probe of Robert S. Mueller III. To discredit in the special adviser after anti-Trump texts were uncovered between the two last year. Strzok was fired over the lyrics this week.
Ear is also the common subject of GOP criticism; He was named in a memo earlier this year by Republicans, who targeted his connections with the former British intelligence officer, who wrote the controversial dossier on Trump's alleged contacts with Russian officials.
The announcement on Wednesday that Brennan's release was revoked sparked an outcry from critics who argued that the move was aimed at silencing critics of the president.
In a performance on CNN shortly after Sanders's appearance in the White House meeting room, Clapper described the move as "unprecedented" and a "violation of our right to free speech" and noted that all former officials on Trump's list were outspokenly outspoken Trump in one way or another.
Clapper claimed that this move would not affect his own decision as to whether to oppose the president.
"If they say that the only way I can talk is to flatter this president, I'm sorry, I do not think I can sign up for it," he said.
Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser to the Obama administration, reiterated Clappers criticism in a performance on MSNBC calling the move "authoritarianism in its purest form."
Last week, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wiss.) Downplayed Trump's threat to lift officials' security clearance and told reporters at the Capitol, "I think he trolls people, honestly."
The move comes a day after Brennan has expressed on Twitter and in a TV appearance particularly striking criticism of Trump.
After Trump described his former assistant Manigault Newman as "this dog" while feuding over their allegations that Trump was a racist, Brennan replied on Twitter that the president's rhetoric was "so daunting, so dangerous to our nation." ,
"It's amazing how often you fail to live up to the standards of decency, courtesy and honesty," says Brennan twittered, "Seems like you would never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent and honest person."
Brennan later said in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday night that Trump "has badly polluted the reputation of the presidency's office with its insult, with its constant contempt, I think, for human decency."
He also aimed at what he described as Trump's cozy relationship with authoritarian leaders, arguing that "America's reputation in the world was also tarnished."
"What he does here in the United States is very polarizing," Brennan said, calling Trump "the most divisive president we've ever had in the Oval Office."