The former commander of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command, who also oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has a request for President Donald Trump: revoke his security clearance.
Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven on Thursday said in an op-ed that he would “consider it an honor” to have his clearance revoked so that he could add his “name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”
The op-ed, which was published in The Washington Post, comes a day after the White House announced that it was removing former CIA Director John Brennan’s clearance and was reviewing a number of other former officials who have disagreed with the administration.
The White House is evaluating clearances for former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired earlier this year, and Bruce Ohr, who is still in the Justice Department.
The action against Brennan came as Trump continued to put pressure on special counsel Robert Mueller to end the Russia investigation, which the president has called a “witch hunt.”
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump blamed Brennan for Mueller’s investigation, which last year began focusing on whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to influence the 2016 presidential election and has since widened to include possible obstruction of justice by Trump. Brennan, however, has been out of the government for 19 months.
Brennan and other intelligence officials met with Trump at Trump Tower days before his inauguration, and briefed him on evidence that the Russian government had sought to interfere in the election.
On Thursday, McRaven wrote that Brennan “is one of the finest public servants I have ever known.”
“Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John,” he wrote. “He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.”
The retired admiral wrote that he had hoped Trump would “rise to the occasion and become the leader this great nation needs.” Instead, McRaven, said Trump has failed to do so.
“Through your actions,” he wrote, “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.”