Former CIA Official Says Trump Is Trying To Move The US Toward Authoritarianism

Former deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin said that Trump’s revoking of John Brennan’s security clearance is a signal that he is trying to move the country toward authoritarianism.

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McLaughlin said on MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi:

This is ridiculous. I can think of few things the president has done that more directly indicate a kind of authoritarian attitude in his governing style. To pull clearances from someone is something that you see happen when leaders of countries that are trying to move them in that direction try to silence their enemies, along with other things they do. And clearly, nothing that John Brennan has said or that the other intelligence people on this list have said has anything to do with classified information.

The reason you pull someone’s clearances, the unique reason really, is if they have abused or in some ways released in an unauthorized way classified information. These people haven’t done that. They have only spoken out using their first amendment rights to state their personal opinions. Looking at abuse of classified information, the president might look in the mirror. You recall what he did when he released inappropriately classified information it’s said from an Israeli report when he talked to the Russians.

So I think it’s just across the board a foolish thing to do and I believe Katy Tur was probably correct in saying this is nothing more than a distraction at this point. The other point I’d make to you is that in my understanding and having been involved in these cases, typically there is some sort of a hearing before this is done. Typically there is an appeal process. And often these cases can escalate to a federal court. I doubt anyone in the white house has thought through any of that, because as usual, they rolled the ball down the lanes, broken up the pins without any idea of how they’re going to set them back up again.

Trump is trying to silence his critics

Don’t fall for any of the bogus excuses offered by the White House. Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance to change the subject from Omarosa’s tapes, and get back at his critics. Trump is obsessed with looking strong. Omarosa has made him look weak, so it is natural that a stunt like rovoking Brennan’s security clearance would be so appealing to him.

McLaughlin’s larger point that Trump’s move today reflects his authoritarian tendencies should be taken very seriously. Republicans in Congress are not going to function as a co-equal branch of government. As long as they hold the majority in the House and Senate, Trump will be unchecked and running wild. A Democratic Congress is the key to restoring democracy.

Trump wants to rule like an authoritarian strongman, and only a Democratic Congress has the will to stop him.

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