Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Monday that President Trump is considering revoking former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance, as well as those of several other former intelligence officials, claiming they’ve "politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service security clearances" and have made "baseless accusations" against the president.

Why it matters: These former intelligence officials have all been quick to criticize the president, with Brennan being a leading voice of opposition following Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. As some White House reporters pointed out in the briefing, revoking their clearances has the optics of political retaliation.

Others on Trump's blacklist: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Advisor Director Michael Hayden, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

"The president is exploring these mechanisms to remove their security clearance because they’ve politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service security clearances, and making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influences by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. The president contends that the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence."
— Sarah Sanders

For more on the day's top news stories, subscribe to Axios AM

Go deeper

Florida fully lifts coronavirus restrictions on restaurants

Photo: Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Friday the state will completely reopen its economy, allowing restaurants at operate full capacity and barring localities from ordering businesses to close.

Why it matters: The state became one of the world's epicenters for the virus in July, forcing DeSantis to pause its first round of reopening.

2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!