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One target, former FBI Director James Comey no longer has a clearance.

Comey hasn't had a security clearance for many months, according to a person familiar with the matter. While standing next to Putin, Trump had openly questioned his own intelligence agencies' conclusions that Moscow was to blame for meddling in the 2016 USA election, and seemed to accept Putin's insistence that Russia's hands were clean.

"The security clearance has nothing to do with how I, or any of us feel about the president".

When Ryan was asked Tuesday about whether he was comfortable with Trump inviting Putin to the White House, Ryan said he's always been comfortable with presidents sitting down with foreign leaders.

One official, former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, was especially harsh last week. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, tweeted that he planned to speak with Trump about removing Brennan's security clearance.

A decision to strip a former official of a security clearance would prove a striking use of presidential power.

Revoking former intelligence officials' security clearances because they have been critical of Trump would likely lead to more condemnation of Trump's behavior.

Asked if Mr Trump was punishing the former officials due to their criticism, Ms Sanders said, "No, I think you are creating your own story there".

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The Journal cited a memo from a manager to a supplier, saying that all suppliers are being asked to help Tesla become profitable. Musk has pushed back on naysayers, arguing that the company will be profitable this quarter and next.

Trump and Putin met last week for a summit in Helsinki.

Ryan said it is "something that's in the purview of the executive branch".

A spokeswoman for Mr McCabe, Melissa Schwartz, wrote on Twitter that his security clearance was deactivated when he was terminated, according to what they were told was Federal Bureau of Investigation policy.

"I don't know whether they've been abusing their security clearance at all", said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the chamber.

Democrats slammed Trump for the move, but Ryan suggested it shouldn't be taken too seriously.

The White House's threat on Monday immediately prompted accusations of political retaliation by current and former officials, as well as security analysts, who said Trump would set a risky precedent by punishing political speech. "You look at McCabe", Trump said during a CBS News interview last week.

"Legalities aside, it seems like a awful mistake to use the security clearance system as an instrument of political vendettas", said Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. In that case, the unsettled question of whether a president's broad authority to issue and revoke security clearances and individuals' constitutional free speech and due process rights could go to the nation's highest court.