“John Brennan leaked information that almost cost the life of a double agent,” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Martha MacCallum of Fox News’ The Story Monday night, explaining why he asked President Trump to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.
At Monday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that Trump, after meeting with Paul, is “exploring mechanisms” to revoke not only Brennan’s security clearance, but also those of other figures in the U.S. intelligence community who have, in her words, “politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia.”
Sanders named former FBI Director James Comey; former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden, in addition to Brennan, as individuals who can no longer be trusted with a security clearance.
She argued that allowing these individuals to keep their clearances will give “inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. When you have the highest level of security clearance … when you have the nation’s secrets at hand, and go out and make false [statements], the president feels that’s something to be very concerned with.”
Paul told MacCallum that Brennan “should not get within 10,000 yards of the government. He should have a restraining order.” He specifically said that Brennan should have been “fired” for risking the life of a double agent.
“But he wasn’t fired by President Obama because I think he was a partisan,” Paul charged. “But now he’s a talking head on the outside, basically saying President Trump should be executed — that’s what we do for treason.”
Last week, in the aftermath of the president’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brennan called Trump’s remarks “treasonous,” adding that he “is wholly in the pocket of Putin and that his performance exceeded the threshold for impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors.”
“And so, yeah,” Paul said, “I’m very concerned about him having privileges because of his past history.”
Brennan’s past history includes voting for the Communist Party when Brennan was in college, and Paul noted, “You know, John Brennan started out his adulthood by voting for the Communist Party presidential candidate. He’s now ending his career by showing himself to be the most biased, bigoted, over-the-top, hyperbolic, sort of unhinged director of the CIA we’ve ever had, and it’s an insult to everything about our government to have a former head of the CIA calling the president ‘treasonous’ just because he doesn’t like him.”
The Founding Fathers made “treason” the only crime specifically defined in the U.S. Constitution, as they knew that the charge — punishable by death, as Paul said — had been used so loosely in history by tyrants. It is doubtful that James Madison and other delegates to the Constitutional Convention would have regarded a president daring to question the conclusions of intelligence officers as fitting into that narrow definition. That such a charge is made by a man — Brennan — who once supported the head of the U.S. Communist Party (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Communist Party) is surreal.
Brennan told the Congressional Black Caucus in 2016 that he had supported the communist candidate as a way “of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for a change.” It should be noted that at the time Brennan voted for the Communist Party candidate, the dictator in the Soviet Union was Leonid Brezhnev, who sent tanks into Czechoslovakia in 1968, and eventually invaded Afghanistan in 1979.
Just what type of change was Brennan seeking in 1976?
What type of change is Brennan seeking now? He was named CIA director by President Obama, who had pledged to bring about the “fundamental transformation” of America, and apparently did not want Donald Trump to provide a roadblock to that change by keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House.
After Trump was elected, Brennan went to work for NBC News and MSNBC as an intelligence analyst — and thus Sanders’ charge that Brennan was “monetizing his public service.”
But Brennan is not the only person cashing in on their ties to the Obama White House, as Sanders charged. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden and Condoleezza Rice are also frequent guests on cable shows, regularly castigating President Trump. Hayden defiantly responded in a tweet that a loss of a security clearance “won’t have any effect on what I say or write.”
The idea of removing the security clearances of intelligence officers such as Brennan and Hayden did not originate with Paul. For example, Fox News host Tucker Carlson within the past week referred to Brennan as an “out-of-the-closet extremist” with a “documented history of dishonesty,” who should not have a security clearance. But Paul was the highest-ranking public official to say so — until Trump agreed with him.
Contradicting the oft-repeated accusation that Trump “colluded” with Putin to steal the election from Clinton, investigative journalist Sarah Carter, appearing on Fox News, agreed with Trump’s action in revoking security clearances for Brennan and the others, asserting, “U.S. intelligence agencies were weaponized to affect the outcome of a U.S. election.” While charges of foreign interference in a U.S. presidential election is serious, the use of the American intelligence community to favor one candidate (Clinton) over another (Trump) should concern every American.
But what will be done to counter this assault on our Constitution by politicized intelligence agencies? As Jason Chaffetz said to Sean Hannity of Fox News, a huge problem in putting a stop to this serious problem is the “non-existent” attorney general, Jeff Sessions. “Until Trump puts in an attorney general who will do his job, the Deep State will continue.”
At least Rand Paul and Donald Trump are fighting back.
Photo of John Brennan with former-president Obama: FEMA.gov