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Trump splashes as summertime passes

Revocation of John Brennan’s Security Clearance

As of Aug. 15, President Donald Trump revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. Brennan’s response was an accusation that Trump was trying to squelch “freedom of speech and his critics.” On Aug. 15, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement on behalf of Trump saying Brennan “has a history that calls his credibility into question” and that Brennan had been “leveraging” the clearance to make “wild outbursts” and claims against the Trump administration to the media.

The statement Sanders read for Trump about Brennan’s “outbursts” indicated they relied on possible impaired psychological conditions to justify their decision, which is presented to be relevant during assessment in The Adjudicative Process’ 13 guidelines included in the Security Executive Agent Directive-4.

Other former officials that have recently been accused of having “politicized” or “monetized” their public service include: former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, as well as Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired Aug. 13, and former FBI general counsel Lisa Page.

There has been discussion on whether Brennan would be able to appeal the revocation of his security clearance. According to Trump’s executive order, employees determined “not to meet the standards” to have access to classified information shall be provided with a written notice of the right to appeal when receiving the notice of the review results. However, an agency head can determine that an appeal process cannot take place “without damaging the national security interests of the United States by revealing classified information,” stated the executive order.

This order to revoke Brennan’s security clearance has met some opposition. Adam Schiff, a Democratic representative for California, tweeted “In adding John Brennan to [Trump’s] enemies list, Trump demonstrates again how deeply insecure and vindictive he is — two character flaws dangerous in any President.”

On the contrary, several have also come forward to applaud Trump’s decision. One supporter, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, said he was “surprised it took so long.”

CNN Editor at Large, Chris Cillizza, in reference to Hatch’s comment on Brennan, wrote, “By this standard,” Hatch is implying that “the criteria for stripping a former senior intelligence official of his security credentials is solely how nice and supportive he is.”

Oklahoma Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana

Oklahoma State Question 788, the Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative, found its way on the Oklahoma ballots on June 26. Oklahoma is the 30th state to approve medical marijuana, with 57 percent of voters in support of legalizing the licensed cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to BallotPedia, a nonpartisan online political encyclopedia.

Under this new law, legal patients will be given state ID cards and are allowed a maximum of three ounces of cannabis in public and up to eight ounces stored at home.

Several popular officials and groups, such as Gov. Mary Fallin, U.S. Sen. James Lankford, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association and the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council had campaigned against legalization of marijuana. 

Despite the opposition to Question 788 and some voting locations leaving it off the ballot, the majority still voted in favor of the new law.

The promise for tax revenue going toward funding public education was also a reason behind the supporting votes for legalizing marijuana. “I’ve seen the economic growth in the slums of Oregon from legalizing marijuana and I want the same for Oklahoma. Plus, my mom is a teacher and in the bill it promised that a lot of tax revenue would go to education,” said Kayla Magnuson, a 19-year-old from Jenks.

After the collection and conclusion of the ballots on June 26, Fallin expressed her opposition to the current provisions which had been approved by voters and her concern that the legalization of marijuana would be used for reasons that aren’t “valid medical illnesses.” This reflects a common concern among voters opposed to the legalization.

“People are often perplexed as to why someone would say no,” said Emily Bishop, staff assistant to Sen. James Lankford. “There are a lot of details that have been written very loosely in the bill.”

Fallin tweeted she would be “discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies” about the best way to proceed in regulating medicinal marijuana in Oklahoma.