The President’s Latest Tantrum Is To Remove Security Clearances From His Critics

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The republican President Donald J. Trump keeps forgetting that he does not live in Russia where he can emulate how the Russian President handles his critics by just banishing them or better yet, vanquishing them from the face of the earth. He has come up with another outrage designed to deflect from the current negative news loop that has been upsetting to him.

There have been former Intelligence Agency heads who have stepped forward to openly criticize the president regarding his schizophrenic treatment of our allies in NATO, and our neighboring countries with tariffs among numerous other foreign policy faux pas incidents like his lack of courage to confront Russia over its US election interference in 2016.

The republican talking point is that these public servants have been making baseless charges against the president and that they have been making monies in the process.

Of course these are patriots with distinguished careers and backgrounds, have been sounding the alarms to alert the American peoples that the US 2016 elections infrastructure was under attack by Russia, and still is. They have been supporting the professionalism, competency and the integrity of the FBI, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and all the US intelligence agencies personnel.

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He has decided that he is going to take a page out of Russia’s leader Putin by retaliating against these public officials who have served for too many years to count, this country with distinction and honor.

On the 23 rd of July, 2018, President Trump announced his plans to strip the security clearances of these former national security officials who have criticized his refusal to confront Russia over its US election interference in 2016.

President Trump can’t do anything beyond this petty form of retribution against these former officials as they are free in this country to speak truth to power.

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IC COMMUNITY UNDER FIRE

I don’t know whether he can or cannot do this but I can say that this action would be unprecedented in US history. It appears the he has been encouraged to take this step by the Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul.

At a press briefing held on July 23, 2018, the White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders declared that President Trump was considering revoking the clearances of John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director; James B. Comey, fired by Mr. Trump as F.B.I. director last year; and James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, among others like the former FBI Deputy Director Andrew Mccabe. Mr. Comey and Mr. McCabe have not had clearance levels renewed for months but this data would be irrelevant under this administration.

Most of these officials have served under both republican and democratic administrations.

This whole scenario has the smell of an orchestrated reality show directed by President Trump. This plan started with some pundits discussing this possibility on FOX TV, which was picked up by Breitbart, and then Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) takes this message to President Trump to where he acts on it.

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Here’s the rest of the story…

On July 23, 2018, John Wagner, Shane Harris and Felicia Sonmez of the Washington Post penned the following report, “White House says Trump wants to revoke security clearances for former officials critical of him over Russia”

Excerpts:

“President Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of a handful of former officials who have been critical of his rhetoric and actions toward Russia, the White House announced Monday, in a move that immediately prompted claims of political retaliation.”

COMEY (L)

“White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the officials being examined are former CIA director John Brennan; former FBI director James B. Comey; former CIA director Michael V. Hayden; former national security adviser Susan E. Rice; former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.; and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.”

“The president is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearances because they’ve politicized and, in some cases, actually monetized their public service and their security clearances in making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia,” Sanders told reporters at a regular press briefing.”

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“She added: “The fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

“The move came shortly after Trump met with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said earlier Monday (7/23/18) that he planned to ask the president to revoke Brennan’s clearance. The former Obama administration CIA director last week used the word “treasonous” to describe Trump’s performance at his summit with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in Helsinki, saying it showed he was “wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

“In a tweet shortly after Sanders’ announcement, Paul appeared to take credit for the move.”

“Just got out of WH meeting with @realDonaldTrump,” Paul said. “I restated to him what I have said in public: John Brennan and others partisans should have their security clearances revoked.”

Rand Paul is pictured. | AP Photo
SENATOR RAND PAUL/ AP PHOTO

“Public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking head fees,” he added.”

Senator Rand Paul

@RandPaul

Just got out of WH meeting with @realDonaldTrump. I restated to him what I have said in public: John Brennan and others partisans should have their security clearances revoked.

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“Democrats immediately criticized the move as an attempt to punish former officials for leveling criticism at Trump.”

“This is what totalitarianism looks like,” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) said in a tweet.”

“A member of the Senate Republican leadership voiced skepticism of the White House’s actions as well.”

“I don’t know whether they’ve been abusing their security clearance at all,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Republican in the chamber. “That’s a very serious allegation. I want to see what the results are.”

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At least two of the officials — Comey and McCabe — do not currently have clearances.

“Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for McCabe (said), you would think the White House would check with the FBI before trying to throw shiny objects to the press corps…,” she wrote on Twitter.”

Clapper, a career intelligence officer who last served as the Director of National Intelligence in the Obama administration, described the move by the White House as “unprecedented” and “petty.”

“Clapper said there were no grounds for dismissing his clearance, and that the White House’s actions were directed solely at “people who have criticized the president.” He said no one from the White House has contacted him about the matter, which he learned about during Sanders’s remarks.”

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HAYDEN

Reached by phone, former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden had no comment on the White House’s statement. But he objected to any White House suggestion that he had mishandled classified information or done anything that would be grounds for revoking his security clearance.

It’s routine for the former directors of intelligence agencies to maintain their security clearance after they’ve left the government. This lets them consult with current intelligence officials and share their expertise, current and former officials said.

“In a pair of tweets earlier Monday, Paul had suggested that Brennan was trying to profit off his security clearance by “divulging secrets to the mainstream media” that undermine Trump, and he said his security clearance should be revoked.”

Link of entire report: White House says Trump wants to revoke security clearances /WashingtonPost 

See: Donald Trump May Revoke Security Clearances of His Critics | Time

20 comments

  1. Gronda, since the President does not bother to pay attention, maybe we should revoke his security clearance. The man threw his country and intelligence staff under the bus in front of Vladimir Putin. He was not only weak, he screwed his people. That reveals clearly that he is not a leader.

    This move is a little boy saying they are being mean to me. Well, Mr. President, you are being mean to 300 + million Americans and hundreds of thousands of intelligence people.

    That is what this American thinks. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Keith,

      I totally agree with you! What we do need at this time if for our gutless congress to remove his ability to wage war without first gaining congressional approval! That is urgently needed as it seems that tRumps BBF Putin has given him permission to wage war against Iran, and we all realize that he feels only a war can save him from the Mueller Investigation…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith,

      You are so right. He is the toddler yelling that there’s a mess over in one corner so that the caretaker doesn’t notice the bigger mess, elsewhere.

      Frankly, he wouldn’t have been able to pass a security clearance FBI check from the start if he had any other government job.

      The Pew published poll results in March 2018, show:

      In Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2017, 37% of registered voters identified as independents, 33% as Democrats and 26% as Republicans. When the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account, 50% either identify as Democrats or lean Democratic; 42% identify as Republicans or lean Republican.

      The 8-percentage-point Democratic advantage in leaned partisan identification is wider than at any point since 2009, and a statistically significant shift since 2016.

      This polls tell us that if the Americans get out to vote in Nov. 2018, the democrats have a real chance to become the majority party in about 3 months.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    Once again the tRump exhibits his ignorance of all things involving policy within the Government. He can not take away the security on the ex-FBI agents, as it is normal procedure for them to surrender it upon their leaving the agency. I causes one to wonder just what world tRump lives in. The rest of the former intelligence leaders will not actually lose anything they were actually using, so once again the threat is simply a hollow thud that will only impress his core voters. I suppose we should rejoice that currently, or at least for the near future we do not live in a kingdom controlled by the will and whim of a dictator like King Donnie would like to become. If we did live in that state of the nation at this time, I am sure that tRump would have had them taken out and executed for daring to speak the truth. Let’s continue to hope we as an nation do not reach that point..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      You’re right. His threat has no bite but it lets him look tough for his base of voters and he can use this outrage along with his Wag the Dog yelling about Iran to deflect away.

      I was looking at some Pew polls published in March 2018. The largest group of voters self identify as independents. This tells me that those self-identifying as republicans is less than its been for awhile. The Democrats have an 8 point advantage.

      The republicans with help from the Russians will try to suppress the vote. The Democrats need to educate the public not to buy their efforts.

      There is value in a free press to get out the word.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  3. Hi Gronda, LOL!. I just cant get my head around the fact there are people who stand by and allow this to be the new ‘normal’. I wish for a bigly Democrat turnout and wins in November. Perhaps then. Fair dinkum, the incompetence piles on daily, relentless, even here in Aus. Is that his game?. Hugs mate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Gary J.,

      Yes, this is the president’s schtick which has been wearing thin. When we survive this time in our history, may we never take nice, boring competent decent leaders for granted, ever again.

      Hugs Mate, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      President Trump hates to hear them speak truth to power. Awe, the power of “free speech,” a “free press” and competent decent peoples using these benefits to educate all of us.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

  4. Gronda, like many things, this is backfiring on him, but he is still doubling down. I an trying to figure out what happened to Rand Paul to turn him into Trump sycophant. This is the second thing in a week where he went tribal.

    By the way, two of the folks don’t have security clearance, so it is an empty threat. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect Sen. Rand Paul is a closet Libertarian. He had to compromise many if his principals in order to get a foot into the GOP. Former Sen. Ron Paul (Rand’s dad) has no such reservations and freely promotes closer relations with Russia. They are both critical of our IC, the Press, and fellow politicians.

      Rand is not sticking up for Trump as much as he’s re-establishing his Libertarian roots, which so happens to coincide with Trump’s base.

      This should get interesting!

      Like

      • Dear 1EarthUnited,

        Senator Rand Paul is certainly going out on the limb for President Trump. The trouble is that he is out on this limb mostly by himself/ isolated.

        I like Keith am becoming suspicious of his actions that seem counter to US interests. It is still my opinion that one cannot support Russia and Putin and consider oneself, an American. That does not mean that we don’t wish Russia and President Putin, well.

        Hugs, Gronda

        Like

        • And I certainly respect your decision. I wonder why we have to define our loyalty or “patriotism” to the state as somehow antithetical to Russia or Putin. More specifically, do we have to be against something in order to show allegiance and love toward one’s own country? Isn’t being proud of one’s own merit and actions enough?

          Is political ideology inherently dividing us as a nation, as citizens of this world? Must we always invent enemies to justify our existence? Trump does not consider Russia our enemy, yet initially N Korea was… and now Iran as the greatest evil of the world. Who are we to believe? Do we believe the official state propaganda, the press, the politicians? Just a thought……..

          Trump warns Iran’s President Rouhani: ‘NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN’:

          https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/23/trump-to-iran-president-never-ever-threaten-the-united-states-again.html

          Like

  5. Dear Keith,

    Senator Rand Paul is a puzzle. The “Club for Growth” (some call it a club for greed) made of ultra rich conservatives are his number one contributor of funds. One of their stated goals is to rid the US Congress of RINOs and to destroy labor and unions as well as reducing the income tax, budget reform, a flat tax, tort reform, school choice and deregulation. This means that these rich folks probably support President Trump which means Senator Paul will back his play, as well. .

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

  6. Dear 1EarthUnited,

    Let’s get down to basics. There is one country that came into my home to try to steal the power of my vote in 2016 and which is still trying. This is Russia.

    There is comfort in countries like Iran and N Korea which don’t want to act buddy-buddy with the US. When we sit down to do business with either country, we know full well that they do not have the US best interests at heart as they have their own concerns, needs, goals. It is a sad day, when the Iranian President Rouhani displays more good sense than either Presidents Trump or Putin.

    But when someone tries to tell me that Russia just wants to act buddy-buddy when they came into my home to commit a theft, I’d ask that person, what he or she is smoking. The worst kind of enemy, is the one who pretends to be a friend , only to stab you in the back. I say, no thanks, I’m not interested.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Like

    • Gronda,
      Re:

      “But when someone tries to tell me that Russia just wants to act buddy-buddy when they came into my home to commit a theft, I’d ask that person, what he or she is smoking.”

      EXACTLY! The logic that Trump is trying to make peace with Putin is like saying that after 9/11, George W. Bush should have invited Osama Bin Laden to the White House for tea.

      Liked by 1 person

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