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You are here News Politics Scores of ex-spies join in rebuking Trump over security clearances

Scores of ex-spies join in rebuking Trump over security clearances

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Former CIA Director John Brennan

An avalanche of retired senior intelligence officials and spies have joined more than a dozen of their former bosses in issuing a public rebuke of President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, the ex-CIA chief who has become a strong critic of the president.

In a rare public campaign, a total of 60 former CIA station chiefs, analysts and operations officers — along with a former director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center — declared on Friday afternoon their “firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

“We believe equally strongly that former government officials have the right to express their unclassified views on what they see as critical national security issues without fear of being punished for doing so,” they added in a brief statement.

The statement follows a similar one issued late Thursday by 11 former directors and deputy directors of the CIA and one director of national intelligence. They served in Democratic and Republican administrations, and decried the removal of the security clearance “as a political tool.”

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