The announcement was made one day after Brennan tweeted the following to the president:
“It's astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation.”
Reading the relevant part of the letter during the press conference, Sanders said:
"As the head of the executive branch and commander in chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation's classified information, including by controlling access to it. Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency," Sanders said.
Sanders said, "Such access is particularly inappropriate when such officials have transitioned into highly political positions".
The press secretary also said Trump is also reviewing the clearances of James Clapper, James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr. These former Obama administration officials and career law enforcement officers have been implicated one way or another in the Trump Russia probe.
"The President has a a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it and that's what he's doing is fulfilling this responsibility," Sanders said.
The practical impact of the Brennan's clearance revocation and possible future terminations of those on the list under review is that our nation’s intel will likely not consult with any person whose revocation has been made since, obviously, they would lack clearance.
Sanders denied that the revocation was related to any effort to silence the Trump's critics. When asked whether Michael Flynn, who he fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence and who has been indictment for lying to the FBI, was on the list and if not, why has his clearance not been denied. Sanders did not explain. She said all future revocations would be on a case-by-case basis.
Interestingly, it has been reported that Trump did not discuss the revocation with his Director of National Intelligence, former US Senator Dan Coates. Coates expressed some anguish over his not knowing about the Trump Putin conversation in Helsinki, last month.
Also, the date of the writing of the revocation letter shows it was written by Trump weeks ago. There is speculation as to why the revocation has occurred today, one day after the tweet.
This was not the first and the only time that Brennan has slammed Trump. Weeks ago, Kentucky Senator urged the president to revoke Brennan’s credentials