WASHINGTON – While conducting a rhetorical war with members of Barack Obama’s administration, President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is not reviewing the national security clearance of the former president himself.
“Never discusses or thought of,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump made the claim while decrying a New Yorker article that he said “falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama.”
The article focused on the conflict between Trump and former CIA Director John Brennan, who has accused Trump of acting improperly on issues ranging from Russia to his criticism of Obama. Brennan has also accused Trump of colluding with Russians who sought to influence the 2016 election by hacking Democrats.
The White House announced last week it had revoked the national security clearance for Brennan, a professional courtesy extended to former intelligence and law enforcement officials so that successors can consult with them.
Trump also said he is reviewing security clearances for other Obama-era officials, people he has clashed with frequently and has accused of seeking to undermine his presidency.
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The president has publicly attacked Obama directly, accusing him at one point – without evidence – of having Trump Tower bugged during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“As Trump stepped up his public and private attacks on Obama, some of the new President’s advisers thought that he should take the extraordinary step of denying Obama himself access to intelligence briefings that were made available to all of his living predecessors,” The New Yorker reported.
The report said Trump decided against the idea after being told about “the importance of keeping former Presidents, who frequently met with foreign leaders, informed.”