Former CIA director John Brennan claims Trump barred him from accessing records for memoir

Brennan wrote about Trump's unusual interference in the memoir “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad,” which goes on sale on October 6th.
Image: Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies in Washington
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on May 23, 2017.Drew Angerer / Getty Images file

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By Dareh Gregorian

John Brennan charges in his new memoir that President Donald Trump issued a directive barring the former CIA director John Brennan from accessing his records and notes for his book, NBC News has confirmed.

Brennan wrote about Trump's unusual interference in the memoir “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, at Home and Abroad,” which goes on sale on October 6th.

In the book, Brennan, an NBC News and MSNBC senior national security and intelligence analyst, said he'd been trying for months to get a hold of his records and notes, but kept running into brick walls.The frequent and harsh Trump critic then found out why, according to a section of the book reported on Wednesday by the Washington Post.

Trump “had issued a directive . . . that purportedly forbids anyone in the intelligence community from sharing classified information with me” in August of 2018, The Post quoted the book as saying.

That same month, Trump said in a statement that he was revoking Brennan's clearance for access to classified information.

Former national security officials like Brennan, who headed the CIA for four years in the Obama administration, typically retain classified clearance in part so they can be consulted on closely held information by officials in ensuing administrations.

Trump said that courtesy was "outweighed by the risk posed by his erratic conduct and behavior," citing comments Brennan had made about Trump and his administration on TV and social media.

In an interview at the time with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Brennan said, "I've seen this type of behavior and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots and autocrats for many, many years during my CIA and national security career. I never, ever thought that I would see it here in the United States