Trump Puts the Deep State on Notice
The President mulls lifting security clearances of key Obama cronies -- and has a strong case.
President Trump will consider revoking the security clearances of former CIA boss John Brennan along with the clearances of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden.
These officials, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday, “politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.” Retention of their clearances, Sanders said, gave “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”
“John Brennan leaked information that almost cost the life of a double agent,” Sen. Rand Paul, told Fox News on Monday. “But now he’s a talking head on the outside, saying that basically President Trump should be executed – that’s what we do for treason. And so, yeah, I’m very concerned about him having privileges because of his past history.”
Earlier Monday Paul tweeted “Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” The senator, a supporter of the president’s Helsinki summit, also told Fox News he would support removal of top-secret security clearances from all retired CIA agents and officers.
The reality that former CIA bosses retained their clearance came as a surprise to some pundits, and the rules that allowed this retention remained unclear. Even so, targets of the proposed removal were quick to speak out.
“This is retribution for speaking out against the president,” former DNI James Clapper told his current employer, CNN. In 2010 Clapper was unaware of a major anti-terrorist operation and is on record that the Muslim Brotherhood is secular and peaceful. In 2013 he testified that the NSA doesn’t “wittingly” gather information from millions of Americans.
Adam Schiff, the Democrats’ lead mouthpiece on Russian collusion, called the revocation “a cowardly action of someone who is afraid of criticism.” For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “This is so extraordinary. The last thing you want in intelligence is partisanship, and we were able to avoid that for such a long time.”
In 2009, when POTUS 44 scrapped a missile defense system that troubled the Russians, Pelosi called it a “brilliant” move. In 2001, Pelosi wrote in the Congressional Record that “Harry Bridges was arguably the most significant labor leader of the twentieth century.” Bridges was actually a Communist and high-level Soviet agent. His Stalinist lawyer Vincent Hallinan was the presidential candidate of the Communist-front Progressive Party in 1952.
The first to speak out on behalf of John Brennan was former CIA staff boss Nick Shapiro. “John Brennan hasn’t made one penny off of his security clearance,” claimed Shapiro. “This is a political attack on career national security officials who have honorably served their country for decades” and an “effort to distract” from Robert Mueller’s investigation.
As Rand Paul told Fox News on Monday, Brennan “should not get anywhere within 10,000 yards of the government. He should have a restraining order.” A stronger case could be made that he never should have been allowed anywhere near the CIA in the first place.
In 1976 John Brennan voted for Gus Hall, presidential candidate of the Communist Party, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Communist Russia. Instead of Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford, Brennan wanted an old-line Stalinist to be president. That came 20 years after Nikita Khrushchev denounced the crimes of Stalin, and during a time when the Russian Communists were on the march around the world and ramping up repression in their captive nations.
Clinton National Security Adviser Anthony Lake failed to become CIA director partly because he thought Alger Hiss might be innocent. Brennan touted his vote for Gus Hall and as Ron Radosh noted, “in a sane world, he would have been turned down.” For POTUS 44, whose beloved “Frank,” in Dreams from My Father was the Communist and Soviet agent Frank Marshall Davis, Brennan was the ideal man for the job.
Last March, Brennan told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that “the Russians may have something on him [Trump] personally,” and that the Russians “have had long experience of Mr. Trump, and may have things they could expose.” Coming from a career intelligence officer, as Jonathan Tobin observed, left the impression that “this had to be more than a baseless conjecture.”
The president has a strong case to lift the security clearance of a partisan incompetent who never should have had one. Professional prevaricator Susan Rice, who retailed the Benghazi lies on television, is another strong candidate for clearance removal. So is former UN representative Samantha Powers, who warns that it’s “not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.” Comey and McCabe’s clearances supposedly disappeared when they were fired from the FBI, but somebody might want to check.
In recent testimony before Congress, the FBI’s Peter Strzok told Rep. Doug Collins, “I have a top secret clearance with some SCI compartments.” SCI means Sensitive Compartmented Information, so the president might look into that. As FBI counterintelligence boss, Strzok cleared Hillary Clinton, set out to “stop” Donald Trump from becoming president, and played a major role in the collusion probe, the famous “insurance policy.”
Peter Strzok still has his job, his badge, his gun and his top-secret security clearance. He said the recent hearing was “just another victory notch in Putin’s belt,” and the FBI would not let him answer key questions. The FBI also slaps a gag on his girlfriend Lisa Page. So not out of the question that many more security clearances should be lifted as the president strives to lift the veil on deep-state intrigue.