Trump Is Laying the Groundwork to Revoke More Security Clearances

Next up: a little-known Justice Department official at the center of conservative conspiracy theories.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

President Donald Trump appeared to continue laying the groundwork on Monday for revoking a Justice Department official’s security clearance. In a sarcastic tweet, he questioned whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions would ever move to fire Bruce Ohr, the little-known official the White House included on its list of people under review to potentially have their clearances removed. 

In his messages Monday, Trump alluded to conservative conspiracy theories alleging Ohr had a critical role in starting the Russia investigation. The same narratives also point to Ohr’s wife, who was contracted during the 2016 election by Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired ex-British spy Christopher Steele to produce an opposition research dossier on Trump. Trump added fuel to these theories on Monday when he falsely claimed that Ohr’s family had greatly profited off Steele’s dossier.

The looming threat over Ohr’s job comes days after the president revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance—an extraordinary move that has been widely perceived as a politically charged attempt to silence his critics amid the ongoing Russia probe. More than 175 current and former intelligence and state officials have since blasted Trump’s decision.

On Sunday, Brennan signaled that he may sue Trump over the move. “I am going to do whatever I can to try and prevent these abuses occurring in the future, and if that means going to court, I will do that, ” Brennan told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Blasting Ohr as a “disgrace,” Trump told reporters on Friday that he would be moving to “very quickly” revoke Ohr’s clearance.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate