NEW YORK—In response the White House announcement Wednesday that President Trump was revoking or reviewing the security clearances of former officials who have spoken out against him, PEN America released the following statement:

“President Trump’s unprecedented decision to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance in direct retaliation for his critiques of the Trump administration represents an astounding repudiation of our constitutional system. In proposing a list of others who stand to lose their clearance as well, Trump is wielding the power of the state to threaten and punish individuals for speech that is wholly protected by the First Amendment. This attempt to chill political speech echoes the action of autocrats around the world; those who would protect our democracy must speak out against it.”  


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

CONTACT: Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Manager: [email protected]