During today’s press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders did not address the Trump-Omarosa drama. Instead, she took the opportunity to make a statement that the White House is revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan. The announcement was made today, but the statement, according to CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, is dated July 26, 2018.
The White House’s reasoning is Brennan has “indulged in erratic conduct,” given “frenzied commentary,” made “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television.” Additionally, the White House says Brennan has monetized his official position and told lies.
This is notable from a TV news standpoint because Brennan is an MSNBC/NBC News national security analyst who appears across the news division’s programming.
NBC News declined comment.
Below are a few examples of what the White House is probably deeming “wild outbursts on the internet and television,” including a Brennan’s appearance on last night’s broadcast of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell:
It’s astounding how often you fail to live up to minimum standards of decency, civility, & probity. Seems like you will never understand what it means to be president, nor what it takes to be a good, decent, & honest person. So disheartening, so dangerous for our Nation. https://t.co/eI9HaCec1m
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) August 14, 2018
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
The White House is also considering revoking security clearances of other high-level members of the Obama administration, including former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former director of CIA & NSA Michael Hayden, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, former Obama national security advisor and U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, and former DOJ official Bruce Ohr. They would no longer be able to obtain access to classified information.
Clapper is a CNN contributor, and Hayden is a frequent guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
President Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn was not named. General Flynn, fired by the administration, previously pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI.