Former CIA Director John Brennan hit back at President Donald Trump in a scathing New York Times opinion piece after the president revoked his security clearance on Wednesday.
“In an op-ed, former CIA Director Brennan says President Trump revoked his security clearance to “scare into silence” critics”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 16, 2018
“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,” Brennan wrote in the opinion piece published in Thursday morning’s Times.
He also said that Trump’s “claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.”
On Wednesday Trump announced that he decided to revoke Brennan’s security clearance, in a highly political move that was widely and severely criticized in Washington, in the media, and around the world. The action by Trump was the first known time that a security clearance was revoked because of an individual’s outspoken criticism of a president. Usually revocations occur due to a violation of a law or a security agreement.
“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,” Trump said in his prepared statement that was read by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Trump connected revoking Brennan’s security clearance to the special counsel Robert Mueller investigation in an interview that was published Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal.
Special Counsel Mueller is investigating whether or not the Trump campaign coordinated, colluded or conspired with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.
In his Times opinion piece, Brennan referenced Trump’s remarks on the campaign trail in 2016 when he jokingly asked Russia to find the missing 30,000 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server by hacking into his opponent’s computer system.
“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,” said Brennan, who was CIA director under President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017.
Then he added:
“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.”
The fallout from Trump’s action may hurt both the president and his party’s chances in the midterm elections. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that Trump’s revoking of Brennan’s security clearance was probably illegal.
Certainly the move by the president shows his desperation as his political and legal troubles mount. His ultimate goal appears to be to suspend the constitution and impose his autocratic rule over the country in place of democracy. Brennan’s warnings need to be heeded: we must take action to remove this man from office immediately to prevent further –and possibly irrevocable — damage to our country.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.