WASHINGTON — The architect of the Osama bin Laden raid said Thursday that it was a badge of honor for former CIA Director John Brennan to have his security clearance stripped by President Donald Trump.
"I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency," William McRaven, a retired four-star admiral, wrote in an open letter to Trump in the Washington Post. "Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don't know him."
McRaven was responding to Trump's decision to rescind Brennan's access to classified information, a move the president announced in a statement read by press secretary Sarah Sanders Wednesday. Brennan "has recently leveraged his status ... to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and on television, about this administration," Trump said in that statement.
Brennan, who is a senior national security analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, said Wednesday in an interview with Nicolle Wallace that the cancellation of his security clearance was Trump's "way of getting back at me" and was designed to "intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration."
McRaven wrote in his letter that Trump's "McCarthy-era tactics" would not silence criticism.
"Through your actions, 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," McRaven wrote.