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President Trump claimed he revoked John Brennan's security clearance — but he never did

The former CIA director is one of Trump's most outspoken critics

Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump claimed last August that he had revoked former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance. The administration claimed Brennan's "erratic conduct and behavior" posed a threat to the intelligence community.

In response, Brennan threatened legal action and called Trump's decision an "egregious abuse of power and authority."

But it was revealed this weekend that Trump never carried through with the revocation — and Brennan still maintains his top-level security clearance.

What is going on?

Although Trump was serious about revoking Brennan's clearance, The New York Times reported over the weekend that White House aides and Justice Department officials blocked Trump from doing so, arguing the move would "jeopardize national security."

Despite leaving his post as CIA director once Trump became president, Brennan continued to consult lawmakers and other government officials on sensitive intelligence matters, a standard practice for senior intelligence officials no longer working in the government.

Brennan — one of the president's most outspoken critics — has continued that practice, despite Trump's threats and claim of revocation.

According to The Associated Press, Brennan briefed Democrats on Capitol Hill last week about the growing tensions with Iran, which Democrats fear Trump will escalate.

The revelation about Brennan's security clearance comes days after the president authorized Attorney General William Barr "full and complete authority" to declassify intelligence information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a power that Barr requested.

Barr, with the help of U.S. Attorney John Durham, is investigating the origins of the investigation. They are working closely with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is also investigating possible abuses of the FISA court during the course of the Russia investigation.

One last thing…
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