GOP Senator: Trump Acting Like Dictator Over Security Clearances

July 24, 2018, 9:54 PM UTC

Republican Senator Bob Corker accused President Donald Trump of behaving like a dictator on MSNBC today. The retiring senator, occasionally outspoken about Trump’s behavior, likened Trump considering revoking the security clearance of former government officials who had criticized him to “the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela.” (Venezuela is widely regarded as a dictatorship.)

On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders relayed Trump’s intent to review the security clearance of six former FBI and security officials who had served under Barack Obama and some previous presidents because of their “politicization” and “monetization” of their status. However, only four of those listed retained clearances, and some said they were irrelevant to their work.

Sen. Corker said on MSNBC, “When you’re going to start taking retribution against people who are your political enemies in this manner, that’s the kind of thing that happens in Venezuela.” He likened the behavior to the actions of a “banana republic,” and said he couldn’t believe that the White House allowed even the idea to be floated.

Earlier today, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the threat was just Trump “trolling people.”