Republican Sen. Rand Paul wants to punish the former CIA director for publicly voicing his concern about Trump's alarming deference to Russia.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has signaled he's willing to blindly follow the White House regarding Russia by viciously attacking former CIA Director John Brennan, who called Trump's behavior last week "treasonous."
"Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance!" Paul tweeted on Monday morning, just about the same time Trump was posting a Russia-related meltdown on Twitter.
Paul also floated the hollow claim that Brennan is trying to profit off his security clearance by "divulging secrets to the mainstream media" that undermine Trump.
Brennan has emerged as a top target of the White House and Trump loyalists for his blunt criticism of Trump's constant deference to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Brennan slammed Trump last week for his shocking joint press conference with Putin in Helsinki. Trump attacked the U.S. investigation into Russia's election crimes and suggested he believes Putin's word over his own intelligence community — all while standing beside Putin.
"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous," Brennan wrote on Twitter. “Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"
Brennan served as CIA director under President Barack Obama and helped produce the intelligence reports that first determined Russia attacked the American election cycle. Brennan speculated earlier this year that Trump is "afraid" of Putin and that "the Russians may have something on him personally to roll out and make his life more difficult."
Many echoed those concerns last week after Trump's bizarre and alarming appearance with Putin. But Paul for some reason is focused on punishing Brennan by stripping him of his security clearance — even though Brennan's statements last week were based on Trump's public comments.
"Former CIA directors typically hold on to their clearance for several years after leaving office in part so that they can share insights with current directors," the Washington Post notes. Brennan retired from the CIA in January 2017.
The idea that a former CIA leader would be stripped of clearance for publicly criticizing a sitting president reeks of authoritarianism.
Paul's undemocratic threat comes as he has sprinted to the front of the GOP line to blindly defend Trump's capitulation to Russia.
Pressed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about Trump siding with Russia over U.S.'s own intelligence, Rand insisted, "What I would say is that all power needs to have checks and balances, and I think our intelligence community has way too much power."
The senator dismissed the outpouring of criticism, post-summit, as "Trump derangement syndrome."
Vanity Fair reported that when Trump saw that he had "only Rand Paul, Sean Hannity, and Tucker Carlson in his corner" making excuses for his deference to Russia last week, he chose to issue a reluctant "clarification" on his comments about Russia attacking U.S. elections in 2016.
Since then, Trump has clumsily reverted back to his summit position, which is that the ongoing Russia investigation is a "hoax" and the whole scandal is a partisan plot to undo his presidency.
No matter what tall tale Trump is telling about Russia, Rand Paul will remain loyally by his side.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.