'Very, Very Petty': Former Intel Chief James Clapper Decries Trump's Childish and Hypocritical Threat to Remove Security Clearances

Proving that the White House has become even more childish than had previously been thought possible, press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday that President Donald Trump is looking into revoking the security clearances of former officials who frequently criticize the administration.


James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, was among those who Sanders mentioned a potential target of the revocation.

"This is a petty way of retribution, I suppose for speaking out against the president which I think on the part of all of us, are borne out of genuine concerns about President Trump," Clapper told CNN Monday afternoon over the phone.

"The security clearance has nothing to do with how I or any of us feel about the president. and I don't get the briefings. I don't have access to classified information. It's frankly more of a courtesy that former senior officials get the security clearance. Haven't had a case of using it. It has no bearing on my regard or lack thereof for President Trump or what he's doing," he said. 

Many noted that President Barack Obama never revoked the security clearance of Michael Flynn, who became a prominent critic of Obama after he was forced out of the administration. Trump later made Flynn his national security adviser before being compelled to fire him within less than a month for lying about his contacts with Russia.

"I think this is just a very, very petty thing to do," Clapper concluded. "And that's about all I'll say about it."

Watch below:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.