To show solidarity with former CIA Director John Brennan, Admiral Bill McRaven is daring President Trump to take his security clearance away too. Commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, McRaven oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid in Pakistan that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In an open letter to the president, McRaven spoke highly of Brennan's integrity, while condemning Trump's character.
"Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation," McRaven wrote of the president in the Washington Post.
Brennan, however, is "one the finest public servants" he has ever known.
Knowing that such a good man like Brennan could lose his clearance, McRaven writes that it would be "an honor" if Trump would revoke his security clearance too, "so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency."
Brennan, a very outspoken Trump critic, shared most of his diatribes on Twitter this past year. For instance:
What responsible & right-thinking adult can point to @realDonaldTrump as a role model for our youth? Whenever he spews lies, insults, and polarizing hate speech against fellow Americans, think of its harmful impact on our young people and the way they talk, act, & treat others. https://t.co/S8sPpydvt9— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 4, 2018
It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation. https://t.co/eI9HaCec1m— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 14, 2018
It appears that last message was one too many for the White House, because on Tuesday Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced they were going to take away his clearance.
A dozen other government officials, including CIA directors, deputy directors and a former director of national intelligence, came to Brennan's defense this week. They condemned Trump's attempt to "stifle free speech."
“We all agree that the president’s action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances — and everything to with an attempt to stifle free speech,” they wrote.
McRaven and other former officials may get their wish. The White House suggested that others may soon lose their clearances too.
Some military officials are siding with the president.
"I think that John Brennan is a clear and present danger and a threat to this nation," U.S. Army Brigadier Gen. Anthony Tata (Ret.) said on "Fox & Friends" Thursday. "He supports the overthrow of this particular president, and he needed to have his access to information revoked."