NBC Was Fuming Mad After Their Employee Lost His Security Clearance

In a Wednesday move that was both praised and criticized, President Trump revoked the Top Secret security clearance for Obama-era CIA director and major Trump-critic John Brennan. The former spook is now an NBC News analyst, so the network didn’t take too kindly to their guy losing the mighty privilege he was granted.

As would be expected, the loss of Brennan’s security clearance was the first thing anchor Lester Holt got to during NBC Nightly News. “It looks a lot like payback tonight for some former senior government officials who have spoken out against President Trump,” he bitterly declared. “The President yanking the security clearance for former CIA boss John Brennan today accusing him of using his access to ‘sow division and chaos’ at the White House.

Unprecedented,” White House correspondent Kristen Welker proclaimed at the start of her report. “President Trump tonight revoking the security clearance of one of his harshest critics, career intelligence official and former CIA Director John Brennan, who’s also an NBC News analyst.” Of course, she omitted how under his leadership the CIA spied on U.S. Senators and hacked their computers, then lied about it under oath.

Welker then asserted that Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “accused Brennan of erratic behavior and abusing access without offering evidence.” Yet, she then played a clip of the Press Secretary laying out the reasoning being the move:

Mr. 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.

 

 

If that wasn’t enough to discredit her own suggestion, Welker boasted about how her colleague Brennan “has called Mr. Trump everything from a traitor to a danger to the country, and responded forceful tonight.” So, what’s so hard to understand?

Via clips from the White House Press Briefing, Welker tried to claim that revoking Brennan’s security clearance was somehow an infringement on his First Amendment rights. “These people were being singled out to have either clearances revoked or in the process of being revoked; to me smacks of Nixonian-type practices of trying to silence anyone who’s willing to criticize this president,” huffed Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner in another soundbite.

Pushing pure speculation as to why the President decided that Wednesday was the day to pull the trigger on something the White House threatened last month, Welker suggested it was all just a big distraction. “So why now? Well, the White House won't say but officials here are eager to turn the page on multiple controversies,” She argued while wearing a scowl. “Mr. Trump's former adviser Omarosa accusing him of using the 'N-word' and his former campaign chair on trial.”

It’s easy to understand why NBC would be so furious over Brennan losing his security clearance, it was an investment by the network. Don’t take my word for it, listen to NBC intelligence and national security reporter Ken Dilanian, who let the cat out of the bag after last month’s threat. “A security clearance is also very valuable for former officials in [the] private sector. And so, to lose one could amount in a financial penalty,” he explained at the time.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

 

NBC Nightly News
August 15, 2018
7:01 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Good evening, everyone. It looks a lot like payback tonight for some former senior government officials who have spoken out against President Trump. The President yanking the security clearance for former CIA boss John Brennan today accusing him of using his access to “sow division and chaos” at the White House. And tonight, several others are on notice their access to classified materials could be coming to an end, too. Our Kristen Welker explains what’s behind it.

[Cuts to video]

KRISTEN WELKER: Unprecedented, President Trump tonight revoking the security clearance of one of his harshest critics, career intelligence official and former CIA Director John Brennan, who’s also an NBC News analyst. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders reading a statement from the President in which he accused Brennan of erratic behavior and abusing access without offering evidence.

SARH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Mr. 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.

WELKER: Brennan has called Mr. Trump everything from a trader to a danger to the country, and responded forceful tonight.

JOHN BRENNAN: Revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me. But I think I have tried to voice the concerns of millions of Americans, and this is not going to deter me at all.

WELKER: The White House also announcing it's reviewing the security clearances of other intelligence and law enforcement officials. Many of them Trump critics or involved in the Russia investigation, including fired FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and Obama's national security advisor Susan Rice, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper who called the move an infringement of first amendment rights.

JEFF MASON: Isn't it also an attempt to curtail their freedom of speech by penalizing them for being critical on television?

SANDERS: Not at all. The President has a constitutional responsibility to protect classified information and who has access to it.

WELKER: The backlash was fierce.

SEN. MARK WARNER: These people were being singled out to have either clearances revoked or in the process of being revoked; to me smacks of Nixonian-type practices of trying to silence anyone who’s willing to criticize this president.

[Cuts back to live]

WELKER: So why now? Well, the White House won't say but officials here are eager to turn the page on multiple controversies. Mr. Trump's former adviser Omarosa accusing him of using the "N-word” and his former campaign chair on trial.

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