How many American citizens knew that once a high-level government official leaves office, he retains his security clearance? If early reports are any indication, not a whole lot. This news – in and of itself – is rather surprising. But as usual, the Trump administration managed to shed light on this Swampish practice and appears to have plans to shut the door on at least a few of these former Swamp-dwellers.
This revocation of privileges sounds like a most excellent idea.
But first the back story: One of the remarkable things about Donald Trump is his ability to take old enemies and turn them into friends. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a perfect example. Paul publicly backed the Trump-Putin summit when most of the folks on Capitol Hill were going all John the Baptist on the president last week (as in, asking for his head on a platter.) Now Paul has the president’s ear, and he is the one who suggested this revocation of security clearances for about a half dozen people. Paul met with POTUS yesterday, Trump liked the idea, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders hit the briefing room with it and BOOM—the media went wild.
Last week Rand Paul put the hammer down on former CIA Director John Brennan. “I think John Brennan is completely unhinged,” said the Senator. Then he followed it up with, “[Brennan is] the most biased, bigoted, over-the-top hyperbolic sort of unhinged director of the CIA we’ve ever had.”
Guess he doesn’t like the guy. And why should he? Brennan is as slimy a swamp-dweller one can find, except of course for the most unctuous of them all – James Comey. Oh yes, Comey’s clearance will be under review, too. Also on the security clearance chopping block are former Director of National Security James Clapper, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and everyone’s favorite – the Benghazi YouTube sensation — former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Calm Down, People
Before Sarah Sanders even stepped off the briefing lectern, an apoplectic leftist media went to their usual suspects to rake the president over the coals. CNN – who must have James Clapper on speed dial – immediately published his reaction to the president’s threat: “I think this is just a very, very petty thing to do.” And why would that be? Stripping this illustrious group of their security clearances directly harms “their ability to work as consultants and advisers in Washington,” according to the New York Times.
That is precisely the point the president and Paul are making. They are trading their high-level access to information for cash and influence-peddling. As Paul essentially said last week, these folks get their top secret information, hand it off to the left-wing media and beat the president over the head with it.
Is the president able to revoke the security clearances of these folks? No one seems to know. But if I were in Vegas and had a bundle to put down, I’d lay it all on Trump finding a way to get this done. Petty? Well maybe. But smart as hell, too.