- White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read out a statement from President Donald Trump on Wednesday announcing his decision to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.
- The statement was dated July 26, 2018.
- It’s unclear why the White House waited three weeks to make the announcement.
- The announcement comes as the White House weathers critical media coverage related to former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
During Wednesday’s press briefing, White House press secretary read out a statement from President Donald Trump announcing that he had decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, the former CIA director and a frequent Trump critic.
But according to a copy of the announcement that was given to some reporters, it was drafted on July 26.
It’s unclear why the White House waited three weeks to announce the president’s decision.
The announcement comes as Trump faces an onslaught of negative media coverage brought on by former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault Newman and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The July 26 date on the statement led many to speculate whether the White House was saving the announcement for a day when they wanted to change the conversation.
This might be a convenient way to distract attention, say from a damaging news story or two. But politicizing the way we guard our nation’s secrets just to punish the President’s critics is a dangerous precedent. https://t.co/cXzgrLIwa3
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) August 15, 2018
Manigault Newman released a new book Tuesday in which she tears into the president, accusing him of using a racial slur to describe African-Americans, and saying she was offered $US15,000 a month to stay silent after being fired from the White House, among other accusations the White House has said are untrue.
Things escalated further when, after facing a barrage of questions about the book during Tuesday’s press briefing, Sanders said she “can’t guarantee” that a recording of Trump saying the N-word while helming “The Apprentice” wouldn’t emerge.
Trump responded to Manigault Newman’s allegations in several tweets, calling her a “lowlife” and a “dog.”
Sources close to Trump told the news website Axios that the president was advised to hold his tongue and let the controversy blow over, but simply could not help himself.
Manafort, meanwhile, is currently standing trial after being charged with 18 counts related to tax fraud, bank fraud, and a failure to report foreign bank accounts.
The prosecution and defence made their closing arguments to the jury on Wednesday, and they are expected to deliver a verdict within the next few days.
Manafort’s trial is the first in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Trump frequently derides the probe, calling it a politically motivated “witch hunt” and “hoax.” He has also simultaneously defended Manafort and sought to distance himself from his former campaign chairman, particularly in the weeks leading up to his trial in Virginia.
Manafort will face a second trial in Washington, DC, in September, where he is accused of money laundering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and failure to register as a foreign agent.
Here’s a graphic breakdown of how the system works:
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