After clearance pull, Democrats rush to back Brennan – who spied on them
On Wednesday, Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance, which had allowed the ex-spymaster to continue to access classified documents since he resigned last January.
The White House said that Brennan used his security clearance to “sow division and chaos,” and lend a sheen of credibility to his public criticisms of the president. The White House looked into revoking Brennan’s clearance after he accused Trump of “treason” for meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.
Straight away, Democrats jumped in to defend Brennan’s character and to blast Trump for pulling his clearance. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said that “In adding John Brennan to his enemies list, Trump demonstrates again how deeply insecure and vindictive he is.”
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Virginia) called the revocation “the weak, paranoid, authoritarian behavior of a dictator.”
In adding John Brennan to his enemies list, Trump demonstrates again how deeply insecure and vindictive he is — two character flaws dangerous in any President.An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American. I also believe this action to silence a critic is unlawful. https://t.co/bfOhThIWfq— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 15, 2018
A flimsy excuse to set a terrible precedent.Trump is clearly punishing @JohnBrennan for criticizing him, cracking down on a dissent and retaliating against a private citizen’s free speech.The President has adopted the weak, paranoid, authoritarian behavior of a dictator. https://t.co/c04RuFjihx— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) August 15, 2018
Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump’s act “unbecoming of a President,” and warned that it would only embolden Brennan in his public crusade against Trump.
In the time I have known him, John Brennan has never been afraid to speak up and give it to you straight. Revoking his security clearance is an act unbecoming of a President. If you think it will silence John, then you just don't know the man.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 15, 2018
Biden’s words were echoed by former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who said that clearance or not, Brennan “will now be just as vigorous & vigilant in defending American values.”
I had the privilege of working with @JohnBrennan at the White House. I have never met anyone more dedicated to defending our national security than John. He will now be just as vigorous & vigilant in defending American values, including free speech, without a sec clearance.— Michael McFaul (@McFaul) August 15, 2018
Brennan’s thesaurus-heavy Tweets and self-righteous grandstanding have made him a hero to the anti-Trump #resistance. However, while Democrats are falling over themselves to pat the former career spy on the back, there was a time when Brennan spied on Democratic lawmakers compiling a report into his agency’s use of torture tactics – and got away with it.
In 2014, as the Senate Intelligence Committee was compiling a lengthy report into the CIA’s use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ at its secret prisons, chair Dianne Feinstein (D-California) accused Brennan’s agency of secretly monitoring the committee’s computers and removing sensitive documents.
After initially denying any wrongdoing and rejecting Feinstein’s “spurious allegations,” Brennan quietly apologized to lawmakers after an internal review proved the senator right.
Despite being caught red-handed spying on his overseers, the Obama administration Department of Justice declined to press charges against Brennan, and he remained in charge of the CIA.
You spied on Congress and lied about it under oath. https://t.co/Go5goGwrff— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 15, 2018
Just as Democrats seem eager to forgive past wrongs in the name of anti-Trump resistance, the President’s supporters on the right were quick to remember Brennan’s shady practices and praise Trump’s decision to revoke his clearance.
The media is straight up losing their minds that John Brennan lost his clearanceI wonder who their “senior national security source” was...— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 15, 2018
Judicial Watch President @TomFitton: Obama CIA Director John Brennan’s unhinged attacks on President @realDonaldTrump help explain the Obama administration's spying abuses targeting then-candidate & now-President Trump.Learn more here: https://t.co/UXqvkcVdr6pic.twitter.com/Y6SAofe5XO— Judicial Watch 🔎 (@JudicialWatch) August 15, 2018
Libertarian-minded Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who first proposed pulling Brennan’s clearance, cheered Trump’s decision on Wednesday, and took the opportunity to remind voters that he opposed Brennan’s stewardship of the CIA from the get-go.
I applaud President Trump for his revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance. I urged the President to do this. Read more here: https://t.co/SAQNTJ1UAn— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) August 15, 2018
True to form, Brennan himself responded to Trump in a verbose tweet, stating that “my principles are worth far more than clearances,” and vowing to keep up the #resistance.
According to William Binney, a former National Security Agency technical director and NSA whistleblower, Trump should have revoked Brennan’s clearance “a long time ago.” Binney told RT: “The president is doing the right thing revoking the clearances of people who aren’t contributing anything."
‘Monetized security clearance’
The White House has also mulled revoking security clearances for a host of other former intelligence personnel, including former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey.
Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in July that they had “politicized, and in some cases monetized, their public service and security clearances.” Since leaving their positions, all have become household names for their public opposition to Trump. Brennan now works for NBC News as a “senior national security and intelligence analyst,” Clapper found a new home at CNN, and Comey penned a book thrashing the Trump administration and comparing Trump himself to a “mob boss.”
Hayden told CNN viewers on Wednesday that Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance was “threatening to the rest of us" and amounted to an attempt to silence dissent.
Former Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines was more blunt, calling Trump a “vindictive little bitch.”
trump just revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance.What a vindictive little bitch.— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) August 15, 2018
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