Late last month, facing withering criticism for hisÂ obsequious performance in Helsinki, Donald Trump threatened to revoke the security clearances of the following intelligence and security officials:
- Former CIA Dir. Brennan
- Former FBI Dir. Comey
- Former DNI Clapper
- Former NSA Dir. Hayden
- Former National Security Adviser Rice
- Andrew McCabe
The rationale? Well, their criticism of Trump, number one, but also the â€œmonetizationâ€ of their clearances.
The reaction Trump got to that threat was almost as bad as the reviews he got after the Putin press conference. Responses from the media, lawmakers and some of the officials in question ranged from fatalistic to incredulous to “surely he’s kidding.”
“I don’t go back for classified briefings, although they occasionally ask me in to offer a view on something, [so this] wonâ€™t have any impact on what I say or write”, Hayden said on Twitter.
“This is just a very, very petty thing to do”, Clapper told CNN. “I don’t get briefings, I donâ€™t have access to any classified information, itâ€™s frankly more of a courtesy”, he added.
Well, consider that “courtesy” revoked – at least forÂ former CIA Director JohnÂ Brennan, who said this following the Putin summit:
Donald Trumpâ€™s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of â€œhigh crimes & misdemeanors.â€ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trumpâ€™s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
That was a bridge too far for a President who cannot suffer criticism and on Wednesday, he revoked Brennan’s security clearance citing “erratic” behavior (oh the irony). Here’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders delivering the news:
Apparently, Trump “consulted” with the following people on the decision:
- Vice President Mike Pence
- Chief of Staff John Kelly
- National Security Adviser John Bolton
Needless to say, only one of those people has even a shred of credibility.
Trump is (I guess) still exploring revoking the clearances of James Comey, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Peter Strzok, Sally Yates, and Michael Hayden.
This comes days afterÂ Peter Strzok was fired by the FBI, a move Trump inadvertently admitted was primarily due to the fact thatÂ Strzok was involved in an investigation of the Trump campaign.
This is yet another piece of evidence to support the contention that the President is attempting to silence any and all dissent. What’s particularly unnerving here is that this shows the lengths he’s willing to go to in order to punish those who speak out against the administration and it’s completely consistent with the notion that he would be willing to take drastic measures to shut down media outlets in the event he thinks he can get away with it.
Now tell us, Paul Ryan, do you still think he was “just trolling people”?