Punishing the vocal critics


President Donald Trump is considering revoking security clearances from ex-officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

Sanders said Trump believed that the former officials “politicized” their positions by accusing Trump of inappropriate contact with Russia, and she said in that some cases they “monetized their clearances,” without clarifying what she meant.

“The fact that people with security clearances are making baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence,” Sanders said. She also said Trump was eyeing clearances held by former NSA Director Michael Hayden, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose security clearance was deactivated after he was fired.

What a spiteful reckless unguided missile he is.

He’s so reckless and ego-centered that he doesn’t care that they’re in a position to know and understand why it’s not clever to try to be besties with Putin, he cares only that they failed to say he’s right about everything. This should get him swiftly removed from office, but it won’t.

Brennan, Comey and Clapper have been vocal critics of Trump, often making headlines over their displeasure with the president’s performance.

Last week, Brennan lambasted Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, calling it “nothing short of treasonous.”

“Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate,” Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing. “And the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.”

No, making treasonous overtures to Putin without witnesses present is “extremely inappropriate.” Punishing the people who say so is also not appropriate, or productive or legitimate or responsible or adult or anything else a president ought to be.

Several minutes after Huckabee announced that the White House was seeking to revoke his clearance, Clapper on Monday called it “a petty way of retribution: for speaking out against Trump and said that “it’s an abuse of the system.”

“The security clearance has nothing to do with how I or any of us feel about the president,” Clapper said in an interview with CNN, adding that he does not get security briefings and does not have access to classified information.

But taking it away is its own reward, aka spite.

When asked whether the president was punishing those ex-officials for speaking out, Sanders said: “The president doesn’t like that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances.”

“Accusing the president of the United States of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance, when you’re the person that holds the nation’s deepest, most sacred secrets at your hands, and you go out and make false accusations against the president of the United States, he thinks that is something to be very concerned with,” Sanders added.

They’re not false. A week ago Trump stood there next to Putin and said he didn’t believe Dan Coats, he believed Putin. The accusations that Trump behaved deplorably and quite possibly treasonously in Helsinki are not false, they are visibly true.

Updating to add Rand Paul’s tweets:

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