Rep. Biggs thinks Trump is serious about revoking security clearances

Jul 24, 2018, 12:33 PM | Updated: 12:35 pm
(Facebook Photo/Congressman Andy Biggs)...
(Facebook Photo/Congressman Andy Biggs)
(Facebook Photo/Congressman Andy Biggs)

PHOENIX – Unlike House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Andy Biggs thinks President Donald Trump isn’t fooling around about possibly revoking the security clearance of several former high-level intelligence officials.

“I think he’s serious about it,” the Arizona Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president was “exploring the mechanisms” to strip clearance from six former officials who have held some of the most sensitive positions in government.

She named former CIA Director John Brennan; former FBI Director Jim Comey; James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump’s deputy FBI director until he was fired in March.

On Tuesday, Ryan dismissed the idea, saying of Trump, “I think he’s just trolling people, honestly.”

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period, as a courtesy and so they can be in a position to advise their successors. The clearances are also sometimes required to work for government contractors.

“I can’t think of a rational reason for John Brennan to have security clearance,” Biggs said.

He referred to Brennan and Clapper as “talking heads” for their television appearances.

“We don’t know what’s going to slip out of their mouths and what’s not going to slip out of their mouths,” he said. “They’re not working to sustain the current foreign policy of this president, and so they shouldn’t have clearance.”

Sanders accused the officials she named of having “politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances” by making “baseless accusations” that the Trump administration had improper contact with Russia or was influenced by Russia.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Rep. Biggs thinks Trump is serious about revoking security clearances