UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL — President Donald Trump has threatened to revoke security clearances from former top officials who have been critical of the president.

In a White House briefing on July 23, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president is exploring options for clearance removals because former officials “have politicized, and in some cases monetized” their access.

Sanders listed some of Trump’s toughest critics — former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Two of the targets — former F.B.I. director James Comey and former acting F.B.I. director Andrew McCabe – no longer have security clearances, according to McCabe’s spokesperson and Comey himself.

Following Sander’s announcement, Clapper called the move “a petty way of retribution.”

Several hours before the announcement, Senator Rand Paul said on Twitter he had asked Trump in a White House meeting to revoke Brennan and other’s security clearances.