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

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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.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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