The press secretary said Mr Trump “doesn’t like the fact that people are politicising agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and to be monetised off security clearances”.
She said security clearance “provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence”.
Mr Clapper told CNN the plan was “a very, very petty thing to do”.
He added that the president has the prerogative to “suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit”.
“And if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well, I think that’s a terrible precedent and a very sad commentary. And it’s an abuse of the system.”
Contributed by Professor Colin O Jarrett