Let’s say a company like Apple fired an employee. But, for some reason, Apple lets the now ex-employee keep his access to all internal workings of the company — plans for new products, proprietary numbers on sales, everything.
That’d be insane, right? Should that employee happen to be disgruntled, there’s no telling what he could do with such information.
But for some reason, liberals and the mainstream media think former President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan should keep his security clearance, even though he is actively using his access to derail President Trump.
Trump on Wednesday pulled Brennan’s security clearance, citing “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations” about his administration, and for Brennan’s move to “sow division and chaos.” Trump said his decision was driven by the ongoing federal investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
“I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “And these people led it. … It’s something that had to be done,” Trump said.
But Brennan took to the pages of The New York Times on Thursday, writing an op-ed piece in which he said Trump is clearly guilty of colluding with Russians.
“The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of ‘Trump Incorporated’ attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets,” he wrote in the Times.
As for the loss of his clearance, Brennan said that the move showed 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.”
But let’s get something straight: Just like a driver’s license, retaining security clearance after one leaves a federal post is a privilege, not a right. Yes, some officials have, in the past, kept such clearances, but that was before the hyper-politicization of the intelligence branches.
And Brennan is among the most partisan, repeatedly attacking Trump.
As just one example, Brennan wrote on Twitter on July 16: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
For his bashing of Trump, Brennan became a darling of the liberal media, appearing on NBC News and MSNBC regularly. He literally made a job of ripping the president (some “contributors” make $100,000 or more), prompting Sen. Rand Paul to pose a few questions: “Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump,” the Kentucky Republican tweeted on July 23.
So Trump simply said, “Hey, if you’re going to take this classified information and use it to bash me — instead of to help your colleagues in the intelligence field — maybe you don’t deserve the courtesy of extending your security clearance.”
Far too many people have security clearances, anyway — something Obama also sought to rein in. In November 2013, Politico wrote: “The Obama administration has ordered a government-wide reassessment of how almost 5 million Americans have been granted classified information security clearances and whether each person currently approved to see sensitive national security secrets truly has a need for such access.”
The Politico piece also cited then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who “questioned the booming rolls of security-clearance holders. At last count, more than 4.9 million people held clearances, of whom over 1.4 million were cleared for access at the ‘Top Secret’ level.”
Of course, when Trump first began mulling the revocation of said security clearances, Clapper was aghast. (Clapper, you’ll recall, leaked the anti-Trump dossier to CNN’s Jake Tapper and helped orchestrate a meeting between former FBI Director James Comey and Trump, which was later leaked to CNN and used as their “news hook” to launch the media’s “Russia” narrative. Clapper also lied to Congress about leaking information to Tapper and then was rewarded with a contract at CNN a few months later.)
Appearing on CNN as a paid contributor (like Brennan is with NBC), Clapper slammed Trump’s plan: “This is just a very, very petty thing to do. And that’s about all I’ll say about it.”
But soon, Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice and former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden all might have their clearances revoked.
And that’s as it should be.
Said Trump on Monday: “I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation’s classified information, including by controlling access to it. Today, in fulfilling that responsibility, I have decided to revoke the security clearance of John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation’s most closely held secrets.”
Pretty simple, really.