U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he plans to revoke the security clearance of Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official whose wife was employed at the company that was involved in producing the dossier on Trump's links to Russian Federation.
He continued: "I think he's abusing the powers of that office". Trump said, nevertheless, that Mueller should be allowed to finish a report on Russia's interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
Mr Trump on Wednesday openly tied his decision to strip Mr Brennan of his clearance - and threaten almost a dozen other former and current officials - to the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with his campaign. The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 USA presidential campaign to compile the dossier on Trump and his Russian Federation ties.
Ohr is under intense Republican scrutiny for his contacts with Glenn Simpson, who co-founded the opposition research firm Fusion GPS.
Trump's comments, made to reporters as he boarded Marine One en route to a Republican campaign event in NY, came amid rising criticism of the president for using security clearances as a political tool.
Former U.S. security officials on Thursday issued scathing rebukes to Trump for moving against Brennan. "I've never respected him; I've never had a lot of respect", Trump said.
"If anything, I'm giving him a bigger voice", the president said.
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.
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Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, announced Friday on Twitter that he planned to introduce an amendment "to block the president from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances".
President Trump said Friday his next target for stripping security clearance is high-ranking Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, and said it will probably happen quickly. "Beyond that, this action is quite clearly a signal to the former and current officials", the statement said.
That directly contradicted a July 2017 statement from Trump Jr. - written with the consultation of the White House - that claimed the meeting had been primarily about adoption. Many people don't even know who he is, and now he's a bigger voice, and that's okay with me, because I like taking on voices like that.
"In terms of Mr. Brennan, I see many people saying that this is nakedly political because he's a Trump critic".
"There's no silence", Trump said.