A retired Navy admiral who oversaw the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden says that if President Donald Trump is going to revoke the White House security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, then Trump should revoke his, too.
On Wednesday, Trump cited “lying,” frenzied commentary,” and “erratic conduct” as reasons he’d revoked Brennan’s security clearance. Brennan, a frequent Trump critic, called the president’s actions an attempt to silence his free speech and tweeted, “My principles are worth far more than clearances.”
In a Washington Post OpEd on Thursday, William McRaven, the former commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, spoke out on Brennan’s behalf. He called Brennan “one of the finest public servants I have ever known” and a man of “unparalleled integrity.”
McRaven then challenged Trump to revoke his clearance also.
“I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency,” McRaven wrote.
The decorated military leader, who was integral in the 2011 killing of bin Laden in Pakistan, stressed that a good leader “always puts the welfare of others before himself or herself,” but said that’s not the case for Trump.
“Your leadership, however, has shown little of those qualities,” McRaven wrote. “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 has been a consistently vocal critic of Trump, saying in February 2017 that Trump’s attacks on the free press “may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime.”
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