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John Brennan. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan citing "erratic conduct and behavior" following criticism of the president by Brennan.

The bottom line: Trump's announcement has received substantial backlash from the intelligence community as well as politicians for revoking Brennan's clearance. Along with Brennan, Trump is also "evaluating action" regarding the current and former clearances of several other former intelligence and law enforcement officials — most of whom have been among his harshest critics. Many are split on the decision as some see the move as an effort to silence them, while others say Brennan shouldn't have been able to keep his clearance in the first place.

What they're saying

Former Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter to defend Brennan, saying the former CIA director has "never been afraid to speak up and give it to you straight." Revoking his clearance won't change that, he added.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Former FBI Director James Comey, whose clearance the administration is also threatening to revoke, said Trump is "once again sending a message that he will punish people who disagree with him and reward those who praise him" in a statement via Twitter.

Former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin called Trump revoking Brennan's security clearance a way to "muzzle free speech" in an appearance on MSNBC and said he read through the directive and found no grounds for Brennan's clearance being revoked.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said Brennan's clearance being revoked "makes you less safe" and described Trump's move to revoke it as "petty" in a tweet.

Jamil Jaffer, a former Bush administration DOJ lawyer and National Security Institute founder, called Trump's actions "outrageous" and said just because a president can revoke a clearance "doesn't mean you should" because of the insights former officials can give.

The other side:

Reps. Lee Zeldin and Rick Saccone, however stood out among the former politicians defending the president's action.

Rep. Zeldin (R-NY) took to Twitter arguing, Brennan should have "never received the clearance in 1st place. Literally admitted to voting Communist Party for US President."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Rep. Saccone (R-PA) voiced his opinion tweeting, "officials retain clearance after leaving office as a COURTESY. Brennan has abused the courtesy. You're out!"

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
7 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.