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US: House Speaker says Trump ‘trolling’ over clearances

‘I think he is just trolling people honestly,’ Paul Ryan says

24.07.2018
US: House Speaker says Trump ‘trolling’ over clearances House Speaker Paul Ryan

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that President Donald Trump is “trolling people” after he threatened to revoke security clearances of former high-level national security officials.

“I think he is just trolling people honestly,” Ryan said at a weekly news conference.

Trolling is a slang for someone who sows discord or upsets others with their post on social media.

Ryan said that the issue of revocation is within the purview of the executive branch, and not something that involves Congress.

The issue of the former intelligence chiefs losing their credentials came after White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders made the announcement Monday. Sanders accused the officials of “politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically not meant to be political.”

The list of officials who served during the Barack Obama administration includes CIA chiefs Michael Hayden and John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and FBI Deputy Director Andew McCabe.

The White House announcement followed Senator Rand Paul tweet calling for Trump to revoke Brennan’s clearance. Paul said he asked for the removal of the former CIA head’s clearance and “others partisans” at a meeting with Trump on Monday.

Following Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week in Finland, Brennan had harsh words for Trump on Twitter.

“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous," Brennan said.

The White House disclosed last Thursday that it has invited Putin to the Washington for a summit in the fall.

Ryan said Putin would not be invited to speak at a joint session in Congress if he were to come to Washington.

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