Jim Sciutto, chief national security correspondent for CNN, reported that President Donald Trump did not confer with Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats before the president’s decision to revoke the security clearance of ex-CIA director John Brennan.
But Bloomberg News’ White House reporter directly contradicted Sciutto’s claim.
Sciutto reported that Trump did not consult with or inform Coats before revoking Brennan’s security clearance. Like Sciutto, Brennan served in the Obama administration.
A former ABC news journalist, Sciutto served as chief of staff for Gary Locke, Obama’s ambassador to China.
Beside a CNN article claiming the same, Sciutto tweeted: “Breaking: DNI Coats – the nation’s senior-most Intelligence official – was NOT consulted on Trump decision to revoke Fmr CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance – a source with knowledge tells me.”
Yet Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs, who responded to Sciutto in a tweet, said she was briefed directly by White House aides.
“Trump did discuss the matter of Brennan’s security clearance with Dan Coats,” Jacobs tweeted. “He was in the room. And there were multiple discussions with top officials, WH aides say.”
Jacobs sent a second tweet with additional steps: “LATEST: Trump consulted with Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Adviser John Bolton in deciding to revoke security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan, I’m told. Also: the White House general counsel’s office.”
Bloomberg also posted an article with the same claim: “Trump consulted with Vice President Mike Pence, White House chief of staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats before taking the step, said a person familiar with the matter.”
The contradictory claims come from CNN — which has a negative reputation among conservatives due to its anti-Trump coverage — and Bloomberg, which has a neutral, if pro-business, perception among conservatives.