One of President Trump’s strongest promises, when he was campaigning, was that he would drain the DC swamp. I don’t think the bureaucrats in the Beltway took him seriously, but they are beginning to change their tune. Trump is now focusing on them one at a time and a number of them are having their days counted down in the government.
Just last month, Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. It was richly deserved as he was going on paid media networks and horribly disparaging the president and his office, not to mention those that serve at Trump’s pleasure. And Trump has set his sights on eight or nine others who have also turned on his presidency and in my opinion are national security threats.
You have a right to disagree with the president or anyone else… you do not have the right to start name calling and disparaging the president and all that America stands for just because you don’t like the way someone’s brand of politics is flowing these days. That amounts to aiding and abetting the enemy.
“Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets and facilities, the very aim of our adversaries which is to sow division and chaos,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated.
“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the Internet and television — about this Administration,“ the president‘s statement continued.
“More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan’s security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets long after their time in government has ended,” Sanders added.
Soon to be evaluated in a similar fashion are former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and Bruce Ohr.
The only one out of that bunch that isn’t a total slug is Hayden and he says losing his clearance will not affect him much. The rest are definitely security risks.
Brennan was furious and responded via Twitter. “This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics,” he wrote. “It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent,” he wrote. And yet, he threatened to sue over it.
Brennan even gave an interview to MSNBC where he blustered that if the president believed that the action would lead the former CIA director “to just go away and be quiet, he is very badly mistaken.” We should get so lucky.
“I‘ve seen this type of behavior, and actions on the part of foreign tyrants and despots and autocrats during my CIA and national security career,” he said. “I never thought I would see it here in the United States. And so I do believe that all Americans really need to take stock of what is happening right now in our government, and how abnormal and how irresponsible and how dangerous these actions are.”
This action is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics. It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent. https://t.co/TNzOxhP9ux
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 15, 2018
Brennan whined that he was not informed by the government but instead, had to find out about his security clearance being revoked from a friend who called when Sanders was delivering the president’s statement. Cry me a river. This is one Obama swamp slug that should have been stripped of his security clearances and ejected long ago.
“Security clearances for those who still have them may be revoked, and those who have already lost their security clearance may not be able to have it reinstated,” Sanders said.
“Susan Gordon, principal deputy director of national intelligence, told POLITICO on Wednesday that she didn’t know whether the White House consulted National Intelligence Director Dan Coats before it announced the decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance.
“But it is a presidential decision,” she said. “That authority is his; he can make the decisions. I don’t know whether we were consulted or not, but whether we were or not, it’s an executive decision for him to make.”
“She pointed out that security clearances have traditionally been important tools for the U.S. intelligence community, allowing agencies to rely the experiences of former department chiefs.
“There’s a whole range of people that we rely on, including our formers who have those clearances to help us be better at what we do and know,” she said on the sidelines of a Defense Intelligence Agency conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Gordon said she didn’t have any indication whether the removal of Brennan’s clearances was part of a “larger trend.”
“She stressed, however, that former agency leaders — including those working for private companies and those still in government — remain important parts of the intelligence community. And, she said, former officials with clearances should maintain certain standards to keep those clearances.
“Yes, that’s important as well,” she said.”
Trump’s actions here are widely supported by conservatives such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, and the Senate majority whip, John Cornyn (R-TX), who is on the Intelligence Committee. He said it was “entirely appropriate” for Trump to take action against Brennan.
Now, if we can just go even further and reboot the intelligence agencies with intense background checks and severe vetting. The swamp would start to drain even faster at that point I bet. I’m glad to see Brennan get the boot by Trump… no big loss if you ask me, in fact… it’s a huge win. When the others go it will also be worth celebrating.