Trump Yanks John Brennan’s Security Clearance

The swamp is being cleared, slowly but surely.

President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. There is probably no person in America that is more deserving of losing this privilege on account of his reckless conduct than Brennan. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a lengthy statement from the president to reporters on Wednesday explaining the reasons for his decision. The president’s statement said that “at this point in my administration, any benefits that senior officials might glean from consultations with Mr. Brennan are now outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.”  In addition to “a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility,” the statement continued, “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. 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.”

While he was serving as the CIA director under former President Barack Obama, Brennan was reported to have been the prime instigator behind the Russian collusion witch hunt. He used the discredited, unverified Steele dossier as a lure for the FBI to get involved. According to a report by Paul Sperry, published by RealClear Investigations on February 11, 2018, “Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.”

The salacious unsubstantiated dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but that did not matter to Brennan. “Just because it was unverified didn’t mean it wasn’t true,” Brennan said about the dossier on Meet the Press earlier this year. The dossier served as a major justification for the FBI and the Department of Justice to apply to the FISA court for a surveillance warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. In trying later to distance himself from the infamous Steele dossier, Brennan may have committed perjury in his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017. 

Since leaving public office, Brennan exploited the mystique of his special access to highly classified information afforded by the security clearance he continued to maintain. As a paid commentator on MSNBC, Brennan monetized the aura of authority of an “expert” who was still privy to the innermost secrets of the U.S. government. When Brennan speaks, people are expected to listen. However, what he dispensed was often a pack of outrageous, unsubstantiated claims and ad hominem rants against the president. For example, Brennan asserted earlier this year that the Russians may have something on President Trump which they are holding over his head. “The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Mr. Trump, and may have things that they could expose,” Brennan theorized during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last March. After introducing this theory into the public discourse, backed by his status as former CIA director who still had his security clearance, Brennan backtracked. “I do not know if the Russians have something on Donald Trump that they could use as blackmail,” he said in a written response to questions from The New York Times. The man who has cried Russia, Russia, Russia in relation to President Trump engaged in what Winston Churchill once said about the Russian Bolsheviks: “The Russian Bolsheviks have discovered that truth does not matter so long as there is reiteration. They have no difficulty whatever in countering a fact by a lie which, if repeated often enough and loudly enough, becomes accepted by the people.” 

Brennan has since launched a constant barrage of personal insults at the president, capped by his slanderous accusation that President Trump acted in a “treasonous” manner, a capital offense under the U.S. Constitution, during his joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Trump ultimately decided that enough was enough and that Brennan no longer deserved the privilege of a security clearance most Americans do not have.

Brennan tried to make the president’s yanking of his security clearance a First Amendment issue. He called the action "part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech" and "punish critics."  Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, whose own security clearance may be in jeopardy, also invoked the First Amendment in objecting to President Trump’s decision. 

Brennan, of course, continues to have the constitutional right to say or write whatever he wants about the president, no matter how stupid or reckless he comes across. He shares the right of free speech with all Americans. However, security clearance is a privilege, not an inherent right. Granting of the privilege is contingent upon demonstration of what an executive order on access to classified information described as “strength of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment.” Most Americans do not have the same privilege of security clearance that Brennan was afforded. Brennan forfeited the privilege after months of exploiting his special status and demonstrating utter lack of character, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, discretion, and sound judgment. Now Brennan can go on MSNBC and make a fool of himself to his heart’s content in the full exercise of his First Amendment rights. 

The Left is apoplectic over the defrocking of John Brennan. 

“The would be Autocrat strikes again,” tweeted the meathead Bob Reiner, for example. “John Brennan is a patriot. Stripping the former CIA director of his security clearance should frighten all patriots. Before this mentally unstable fool completely destroys our Democracy & hands US over to Putin, Nov.6 VOTE!!!”

Brennan may soon not be alone in losing his security clearance. 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, and former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strozk may face the same fate. Former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe reportedly are already without their security clearances.

The swamp is being cleared, slowly but surely.

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