Clapper: Ex-intel chiefs 'oppressed' for criticizing Trump

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday that the former intelligence chiefs and ...

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 5:38 AM
Updated: Aug 16, 2018 5:38 AM

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday that the former intelligence chiefs and national security officials from whom President Donald Trump is considering revoking security clearances are being "oppressed."

In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on "At This Hour," Clapper suggested that he and others are being targeted by the Trump administration as a form of political retribution.

James Clapper

Political Figures - US

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government departments and authorities

Intelligence services

International relations and national security

National security

US federal government

White House

"The bigger issue to me is the jeopardy to First Amendment rights," he said. "That, to me, is the much bigger issue here where we're being suppressed or oppressed because of our outspoken political views or criticism of the current president."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Monday that the President is weighing the possibility of stripping the security clearances of a half-dozen former officials, arguing that the individuals under scrutiny have "politicized and, in some cases, monetized their public service and security clearances."

The former officials under consideration include Clapper as well as former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, according to Sanders.

If the President revokes the clearances, it would amount to an unprecedented use of presidential authority to punish political rivals.

Security analysts have warned that such a move could undermine the entire security system, from a privilege based on status and character to a weaponized political tool.

On Monday, Sanders suggested that the President is considering the possibility as a result of commentary from former officials related to the Russia investigation.

"Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the President is extremely inappropriate," she said, "and the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence."

Clapper said on Tuesday that if his clearance is revoked, it won't impact what he does and says now.

"This revocation, if that's what it turns out to be, would have no bearing whatsoever on what I'm doing, saying or writing about," he said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
Marion16394242
Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
Umatilla685671
Deschutes507339
Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
Josephine178535
Benton174314
Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
Wasco109123
Columbia105418
Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00
Eugene
Mostly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 37°
Corvallis
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 38°
Roseburg
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
North Bend
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events