President Trump mocked former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Tuesday by suggesting he criticized former CIA Director John O. Brennan only to save his own security clearance.
Even James Clapper has admonished John Brennan for having gone totally off the rails. Maybe Clapper is being nice to me so he doesn’t lose his Security Clearance for lying to Congress!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
During an interview on “State of the Union” on Sunday, Mr. Clapper denounced Mr. Brennan’s rhetoric as “an issue in and of itself.”
“John is sort of like a freight train, and he’s going to say what’s on his mind,” Mr. Clapper said.
However, more members of the intelligence community are speaking out to defend their institutions and values, he said.
Mr. Clapper signed a joint statement with a dozen other top security officials on Friday describing Mr. Trump’s approach to clearances as an “attempt to stifle free speech.”
On Monday, the president accused those criticizing him of defending Mr. Brennan to ensure their own security clearances stay intact.
“Everybody wants to keep their security clearance. It’s worth great prestige and big dollars, even boards seats,” he wrote on Twitter.
• Valerie Richardson contributed to this article.
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