(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Tuesday criticized the Trump administration’s decision to consider revoking security clearances for several ex-government officials who have been vocal about their opposition to President Donald Trump, adding that it’s “the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela.”
“I can’t even believe that somebody at the White House thought up something like this,” Corker said during an interview on MSNBC. “I mean, when you’re going to start taking retribution against people who are your political enemies in this manner, that’s the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela.”
“So you just don’t do that. I can’t believe they even allowed it to be aired, to be honest,” he said. “I mean, it’s a banana republic kind of thing.”
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s administration is considered a dictatorship by the United States.
Corker’s comments come a day after the White House announced it was looking to remove security clearances held by former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former NSA Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
McCabe’s security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year, and Comey also does not currently have a security clearance. Hayden, the only Bush administration-era official who is facing revocation of his security clearance, tweeted he does not go back for classified briefings but has occasionally been asked to offer a view on something.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing that Trump feels as though the former officials have “politicized” their positions by accusing Trump of inappropriate contact with Russia.
“The fact that people with security clearances are making baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” she said.