As the ghost of President Richard Nixon roams the East Wing of the White House, President Donald Trump vindictively rescinds the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. But he’s not through there:
Striking at one of his fiercest critics over Russia, President Trump said Wednesday he has revoked the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan, and continues to review the clearances of other Barack Obama administration officials.
As critics accused Trump of seeking to silence opponents, the president added names to his list of other Obama-era officials whose security clearances are under review: FBI and Justice Department officials involved in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Beyond the absurdity of this in the first place, what exactly is the president supposed to be doing on a Thursday morning other that building ‘enemies’ lists?
But the removal of an individual’s security clearance isn’t really a problem for the individual involved…it may be an issue in the future if their advice is requested by the current or a future administration.
Security clearances for ex-government employees are not that unusual, and those who have them do not always exercise them.
Former leaders of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to maintain access to classified information, both as a professional courtesy and so that they can consult with successors on certain national security issues.
But the White House can do as it pleases here…and it won’t reflect poorly on Mr. Brennan. It’s just mean spirited and vindictive on the part of a particularly vindictive president. But then as often happens, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders gets involved.
“Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information,” Sanders said in reading Trump’s statement.
Any benefit of consultations with Brennan is “outweighed by the risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior,” the Trump statement said, and that behavior “has tested and far exceeded the limits of any professional courtesy that may have been due to him.”
First, unless called upon by the government, Mr. Brennan doesn’t have access to classified information anymore.
Second, if anyone in the world is familiar with ‘erratic conduct and behavior’, it is Ms. Sanders and the rest of the staff in the West Wing.
So the bigger question: what is the Trump regime trying to divert attention away from this week with this silly event?