WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump denied a report in the New Yorker that advisers urged him to deny Barack Obama access to intelligence briefings — a benefit extended to other former presidents.
“Fake News, of which there is soooo much (this time the very tired New Yorker) falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama. Never discussed or thought of!” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
According to the magazine’s report, some aides also wanted Trump to revoke Obama administration officials’ security clearances. Trump decided against both tacts, based in part on advice from then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, the New Yorker said.
The report comes amid a dust-up over Trump’s decision last week to yank the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan what he termed “erratic conduct and behaviour” and his threats to revoke the status of other former officials who have criticized his actions as president. Brennan has appeared on cable news and written op-ed columns critical of Trump.
Trump on Tuesday brought former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper into the fray, implying that Clapper’s clearance also could be on the chopping block.
“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!” Trump said in a Twitter posting.
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Clapper said that Brennan’s conduct has been problematic. “John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself,” he said.