CNN counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd has a well-deserved reputation for being unhinged but on Friday's Anderson Cooper 360 (with substitute host Jim Sciutto), he went completely berserk to the extent of trying to kick another commentator off the show that wasn't even his. Before his actual explosion you can see the absolute fury building up in him as political commentator Paris Dennard was making good points as to why security clearances are profitable for those who hold them.
If Mudd's outburst on steroids is not the top unhinged moment in the media of the year, it definitely has to rank in the top five:
PARIS DENNARD: A lot of these people that have these security clearances, and this is the secret in the swampy Washington, D.C., they have them and they keep them because it's profitable for them after they leave government, because if you a security clearance, especially high level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gig pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have. I hope the president continues to do this, and I hope he adds Omarosa to the list, because if she has a clearance, she too because of her actions should have it revoked.
From the look of absolute rage on Philip Mudd's face you just know his fuse has been lit:
JIM SCIUTTO: I don't know if I would put Omarosa in the same category as the 75 people who signed the letters. But, Phil Mudd, I imagine you want to react.
Oh, how he wants to react. We are just moments away from an epic explosion.
PHILIP MUDD: Profitable, Paris? When I am required to sit on an advisory board, let me ask you one question, how much do you think I'm paid to do that at the request of the U.S. government? Give me one answer, and you've got 10 seconds? How much?
Think he can't get even angrier? Well it happens when Dennard replies with a reasonable question that sends Mudd's rage into overdrive.
DENNARD: I'll ask you a question. How much are you paid for your contracting gig?
MUDD: ANSWER THE QUESTION!!! I have no contracts with the U.S. government that pay money. Zero.
DENNARD: I'm not talking about your role with the federal government. I'm talking about...
MUDD: Oh, who are you talking about? Are you talking General Hayden?
DENNARD: Consultant and a contractor, the consulting firms that they form and you all get is because you get more money when having a consultant -- for having the security clearance. Stop acting like that doesn't happen.
MUDD: That is incorrect. I have zero consulting relationships with the U.S. government. Zero.
DENNARD: I'm not talking -- Phil, that's a good talking point. I'm not talking about relationship with the government. I'm talking about in the private sector. When you a security clearance...
MUDD: I have zero relationships with the private sector that involve my security clearance. Zero. Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with the U.S. government. Are we clear?
Zero Phil? What about your relationship with CNN as a counterterrorism analyst?
And now the enraged Mudd tries to kick Dennard off a show that isn't even his:
DENNARD: Well, he will be clear in saying that everybody in Washington, D.C. knows -- if you don't want to be honest about it, that's on you -- but if you have a security clearance and you keep it, you get more money to have it.
MUDD: We're done. We're done. GET OUT!!!
DENNARD: It's not your show. I'm staying right here. Don't be so defensive about this.
MUDD: GET OUT!!!
DENNARD: Don't be so defensive about this. Your voice is still here. You can still do whatever you want. But the politicalization of the intelligence community under this administration with the people coming on here every day tweeting and talking about this administration, you all have made it about politics, not the president.
Exit question: Will comedians Desus & Mero goof on this latest Mudd Mental Moment as they did before when Mudd screeched the n-word twice in front of Don Lemon?