Kirsters Baish| The liberal left continue their complaints this week over President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. It’s time for the belly-aching to end. Brennan’s erratic behavior made the decision easy for Trump. Brennan went so far as to claim that Trump committed treason last month after holding a joint summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has now spoken up in order to explain that the only people who need to have a security clearance in the first place are on a “need to know” basis.
Breitbart News reports:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis expressed solidarity with President Trump’s stripping of former Obama CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance earlier this week.
“All I can tell you is, I have taken security clearances away from people in my previous time in uniform, and a security clearance is something that is granted on an as-needed basis,” he told Pentagon reporters traveling with him in South America on Friday.
The comment came in response to a question on what he thought about former intelligence officials denouncing the president for stripping Brennan’s security clearance.
Last week, retired Navy Admiral Bill McRaven released a letter in which he bashed Trump for taking away Brennan’s clearance. He then asked the President to strip him of his clearance too.
Critics of the President had hopes that McRaven’s piece would push other national security higher-ups to bash Trump as well. McRaven oversaw the raid on Osama bin Laden during the Obama White House era.
It wasn’t long after the Navy Admiral’s letter was released that former Intelligence community officials bashed Trump for revoking Brennan’s clearance. Most of those criticizing Trump have spoken out against him in the past for one reason or another.
Former President Barack Obama nominated McRaven as the head of United States Special Operations Command. It was also reported in the past that Hillary Clinton had considered McRaven as a presidential running mate. He spoke highly of her in 2014 when introducing her at an event.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated last Wednesday that Trump stripped Brennan of his clearance based on his constant attacks of the White House and assertions that Trump had colluded with a foreign power in the 2016 presidential election. Brennan made numerous claims over Twitter as well as during an appearance on MSNBC, where he is now working as a national security analyst.
The White House Press Secretary read a statement aloud that was written by the President. It read:
Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insights and as a professional courtesy. Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information.
Additionally, Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking officials with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations- wild outbursts on the internet and television- about this administration. 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, and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos.
“More broadly, the issue of Mr. Brennan‘s security clearance raises larger questions about the practice of former officials maintaining access to our nation’s most sensitive secrets long after their time in government has ended,” Sanders continued. “Such access is particularly inappropriate when former officials have transitioned into highly partisan positions and seek to use real or perceived access to sensitive information to validate their political attacks. Any access granted to our nation’s secrets should be in furtherance of national, not personal, interests.”
The President is also considering pulling former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s clearance, in addition to disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of the CIA Michael Hayden, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former counterintelligence official for the FBI Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, as well as current DOJ official Bruce Ohr.