Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky called on President Donald Trump on Monday to revoke former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance.
“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump?” Paul tweeted.
The Kentucky senator followed up that tweet with another writing, “Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!”
Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) July 23, 2018
Last week in a Twitter post, Brennan labeled Trump’s performance at his joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland with Russian President Vladimir Putin “treasonous” adding it rose to the level of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” In other words, the Obama administration CIA director was saying Trump should be impeached.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides, “The President…shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Brennan — who was hired by MSNBC/NBC News in February as a military and intelligence analyst — also attacked the president on air.
In an interview on MSNBC following Trump’s meeting with Putin, Brennan said, “I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this and how Mike Pompeo and Bolton and John Kelly can continue in their jobs.”
“This, I think, rises to the point of good American patriots resigning in objection to that performance by Donald Trump,” Brennan said.
When asked at the joint news conference in Helsinki if he would denounce Putin regarding alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Trump said, “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Trump also stated that he did not know why it “would” be Russia interfering in the U.S. elections, which he clarified the following day saying he meant to say “wouldn’t.”
He noted that he has said on multiple times over the last year that he accepted the intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia meddled in the race in an attempt to sway the U.S. electorate, but does believe it had a decisive influence over the outcome.
Paul has been one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in the aftermath of the Helsinki summit.
The Republican told a combative Wolf Blitzer on CNN the day of the presser, “This is truly the Trump derangement syndrome that motivates all of this!”
“All of this is a sideways way to try to delegitimize Trump and say he really didn’t win the election when the election was really about Hillary Clinton being unfit for office,” Paul said.
Paul pointed out that Brennan and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper played a central role in launching the Russian investigation, which targeted the Trump campaign during the 2016 race.
“These are the people that I am concerned used their bias against President Trump,” Paul said. “Absolutely, I’m with the president on this. The intelligence community was full of biased people including Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and dozens of others.”
In a subsequent interview on “CBS This Morning,” Paul said there is a legitimate and a partisan aspect to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
As he did on Blitzer’s program, Paul highlighted Brennan and Clapper’s roles in launching the Russia probe “at the behest of the Clinton campaign” using information contained in the so-called dossier paid for by Trump’s rival and the Democratic National Committee.
Last Thursday, Paul blocked a resolution offered by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that backs the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential race and demanded that Trump agree to be interviewed by Mueller’s team.
Sen. @RandPaul: "Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate. The hatred for the President is so intense that partisans would rather risk war than give diplomacy a chance."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 19, 2018
The Kentuckian rose on the Senate floor to oppose the move proclaiming, “Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate.”
“Nobody is saying or excusing Russia meddling in our elections, absolutely, we should protect the integrity of our elections,” Paul explained. “But simply bringing the hatred of the president to the Senate floor, in order to say we’re done with diplomacy, we’re going to add more sanctions and more sanctions.”
He also mentioned Brennan’s post-summit comments attacking Trump.
“My goodness we now have the former head of the CIA, John Brennan, galavanting across TV, now being paid for his opinion, to call the president treasonous.”
Paul argued, “This is crazy partisanship that is driving this.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia told Fox News on Sunday that his committee was seeking a Brennan interview.
“We have lots of questions for John Brennan and he will definitely be sought by the committees for an interview,” Goodlatte said. “This is an extremely disturbing thing to see both he and [former FBI Director] James Comey, supposedly impartial government officials carrying out their jobs in very important areas in intelligence gathering and law enforcement, express the kind of extreme bias that they’ve shown — which I think reflects quite accurately what they were doing back in 2016.”
Goodlatte comments came in response to an Op-Ed by the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel which suggested that Brennan’s role in the Russia probe “is in some ways more concerning than the FBI’s.”
“Mr. Brennan has taken credit for launching the Trump investigation,” Strassel wrote, adding that Brennan “took the lead on shaping the narrative that Russia was interfering in the election specifically to help Mr. Trump — which quickly evolved into the Trump-collusion narrative.”
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