On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders revealed that President Donald Trump had revoked former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. The punitive measure almost immediately drew wide condemnation from across the political spectrum, who in the immediate aftermath of the decision expressed concern about the politicization of the nation’s national security apparatus.
Thursday, he followed that initial concern up with a piece for The New York Times. He laid out just why he’s so concerned about Trump and why he believes Trump revoked his security clearance.
The revocation has not too large of a practical impact on work that Brennan does. He doesn’t work in government anymore, but clearances like his are maintained to make him available for consulting work and the like.
Sanders, sharing a statement from Trump himself, cast the revocation decision Wednesday as because of the former CIA director’s supposedly erratic behavior and “wild outbursts on the internet.” (Somehow she managed to deliver that allegation against Brennan while herself working for President Twitter Trump with a straight face.)
Brennan, though, says that the revocation is yet the latest symptom of the Trump team’s paranoia at the persistence of the Russia investigation — or, as the president calls it, the “rigged witch hunt.”
He describes in his piece for The Times how during the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, he and officials like former FBI Director James Comey grew concerned about gullible Americans being swept up in Russian meddling efforts and turned into Kremlin pawns.
Then, Donald Trump came along.
In July 2016, he publicly called for Russia to attempt to get their hands on Hillary Clinton’s private emails.
‘Such a public clarion call certainly makes one wonder what Mr. Trump privately encouraged his advisers to do — and what they actually did — to win the election. While I had deep insight into Russian activities during the 2016 election, I now am aware — thanks to the reporting of an open and free press — of many more of the highly suspicious dalliances of some American citizens with people affiliated with the Russian intelligence services. Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.’
Indeed — Trump’s claimed over and over again that there was “no collusion,” but the rounds and rounds of press reports about attempted and completed coordination between the Trump team and Russia aligned interests proves otherwise. The president’s own son dove headfirst into a possible trove of dirt on Clinton from the Kremlin to be delivered via a meeting with a lawyer.
Thus, Brennan notes, Trump’s got reason to be worried. Special Counsel for the Russia investigation Robert Mueller is continuing his investigation to find what crimes may have been committed as part of the Trump team’s web of collusion.
The former CIA director finishes his piece in The Times by asserting:
‘Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him. Now more than ever, it is critically important that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, and his team of investigators be allowed to complete their work without interference — from Mr. Trump or anyone else — so that all Americans can get the answers they so rightly deserve.’
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