WH: Trump Has ‘Begun the Mechanism’ for Removing Security Clearances from ‘Certain Individuals’

By Melanie Arter | July 25, 2018 | 11:20 AM EDT

White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said President Donald Trump “has begun the mechanism” for removing security clearances from former intelligence officials, a move that was signaled by the White House on Monday.

When asked during a press gaggle Tuesday on board Air Force One en route to Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs, Md., what has gone on in the last 24 hours on security clearances, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley was asked he couldn’t “get into specifics about the mechanism.”

“What I can say is that the president finds it extremely inappropriate for somebody to go on television under the perception of legitimacy, integrity and level false and baseless claims against another person without any evidence whatsoever,” he said.

“He finds that to be somewhat troublesome and concerning, and so he has begun the mechanism to remove security clearances from certain individuals. The names were listed yesterday. And when we have a further announcement on that, we'll give it to you," Gidley added.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Monday that Trump was “looking into” revoking the security clearances of former CIA DIrector John Brennan, as well as former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden.

“One of the rationales given were that individuals were profiting off their government service. Another former administration official, Sean Spicer, is out with a book today apparently profiting off his service. Will the White House consider stripping his clearance now as well as other former Trump administration officials who might try to profit off their government service?” a reporter asked Gidley.

"I'm not going to get ahead of anything -- any announcement, as I just said, or the process we are looking at now. What this specifically has to do with security clearance, not government service as a whole," Gidley replied.

“Sean has a security clearance,” the reporter said.

"That's fine. When we have an announcement, we'll let you know," Gidley said.

“Speaker [Paul] Ryan said he thought the president was just trolling in regards to the clearance issue. Is this serious?” a reporter asked.

"No. I mean, the president thinks it is extremely inappropriate for people to go out on television and level those claims with no evidence -- to tease an audience with information that they claim to have but offer no backup. That's problematic. He sees that as deeply concerning, and when we have an announcement on any front, we'll let you know," Gidley said.

“Is there a specific thing you're referring to that was said that is false in your view?” a reporter asked. To which Gidley replied, "No."

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