The president of the United States is not subject to a security screening and does not hold a security clearance. But every president does have access to highly classified information – including our nation’s top secrets.
As it happens, President Donald Trump rarely – if ever – reads one- or two-page daily security briefings. There’s obviously no need to since he gets much better information by watching Fox News.
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On Wednesday the president revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, and is now considering revoking those of other prominent critics. Mr. Trump really had no choice, given what he termed Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior.”
Trump issued a statement alleging that Brennan “has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official 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.”
The president then observed that “Mr. Brennan’s lying 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.”
This last statement deserves to be used as every dictionary’s example of chutzpah!
Let me ask a hypothetical question: Would Donald Trump qualify for even the lowest level security clearance?
Think about it. His Russian connections, his great affinity for Vladimir Putin, and the growing body of evidence that the Russians not only aided Trump’s presidential campaign, but are continuing to subvert our electoral process – and even our democratic form of government.
One would think that if Mr. Trump’s allegations about John Brennan were true, he would at least recognize a kindred spirit. Maybe he was offended that Brennan could do such a great Trump imitation without even thanking him for the inspiration.