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Source: SAUL LOEB / Getty

Donald Trump is considering stripping a half-dozen former national security officials of their security clearances, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, calling their public commentary about the ongoing Russia probe inappropriate.

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The list of former officials includes former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 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.

“They’ve politicized and in some cases monetized their public service,” Sanders said. “Making baseless accusations of an improper relationship with Russia is inappropriate.”

The announcement came after Sen. Rand Paul tweeted about Brennan’s security clearance. Brennan declared last week that Trump’s performance in a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin was “nothing short of treasonous.”

A decision to strip a former official of a security clearance would prove a striking use of presidential power. Even Michael Flynn, Trump’s onetime national security adviser who was fired during the Obama administration, maintained his clearance when he was acting as a campaign surrogate for Trump.

Sanders indicated that the President was frustrated by the former officials’ criticism of him.

 

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