Readers React: Trump has an ‘enemies list’ of ex-national security officials who dare to question him

President Trump speaks after touring a "Made in America Product Showcase" at the White House on July 23.
(Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA)

To the editor: The six distinguished former national security intelligence officials whose security clearances President Trump may revoke have provided lifetimes of public service, and there is no reason to question their loyalty.

These people have worked diligently to analyze and advise about threats from Russia and other adversaries. This is another dramatic indication of Trump’s tendency to side with Russia against our intelligence community.

To serve as competent consultants to presidents, Congress and the military-industrial complex, people like former national security advisor Susan Rice and former CIA Director John Brennan should have access to the classified material that they ought to know. Their institutional knowledge is a national asset. There are no proven instances of them misusing classified material.


Trump seems unwilling to tolerate criticism of him or questions about Russia’s election meddling. This wholly illogical pettiness smells like a Nixonian “enemies list.”

Gary Colboth, Long Beach


To the editor: The people whose security clearances Trump now wants to revoke — Rice, Brennan, former FBI Director James B. Comey, former National Security Agency head Michael Hayden, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper — are a who’s-who of the most trusted people in the United States.

The president has tried from the start to silence the news media by calling them “fake news,” and now he wants to silence all his critics. This is what dictators do.

When will Republicans in power realize they are Americans first?

Bart Braverman, Indio


To the editor: These officials should lose their security clearances. Some can credibly be accused of having broken laws.

As for Rice, even years ago she was telling lies on TV about what happened in Benghazi. Did you forget our dead ambassador?

Virginia Prcic, Westlake Village


To the editor: It certainly is not a surprise that Trump can be petty and vindictive toward anyone who dares to criticize him.

But for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who likes to fancy himself a conservative who defends the individual from the ravages of an all-powerful federal government, to champion harsh punishments on those with the temerity to exercise their rights under the 1st Amendment is odd to say the least.

Gordon J. Louttit, Manhattan Beach

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