President Donald Trump considered revoking former President Barack Obama’s security clearance, according to a report from the New Yorker. All former presidents receive daily intelligence briefings and it is not uncommon for a sitting president to seek advice from a predecessor.
However, Trump and his team reportedly talked about stripping Obama of his this privilege, and Trump had to be talked out of it by former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
“As Trump stepped up his public and private attacks on Obama, some of the new President’s advisers thought that he should take the extraordinary step of denying Obama himself access to intelligence briefings that were made available to all of his living predecessors. Trump was told about the importance of keeping former Presidents, who frequently met with foreign leaders, informed,” the New Yorker reported.
“In the end, Trump decided not to exclude Obama, at the urging of McMaster.”
Removing a former president’s security clearance would be unprecedented. Trump was reportedly motivated by personal animosity and his false accusations that Obama committed crimes against him. Trump has previously claimed that Obama had his ‘wires tapped.’
President Trump may be considering revoking security clearances from a number of retired officials, as he has for former CIA Director John Brennan. But refusing President Obama daily intelligence briefings would be a very serious step.