CNN: Sarah Sanders Tosses a ‘Grenade’ at Press With Security News

CNN journalists erupted on Monday at the news that Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of ex-CIA Director John Brennan, James Comey and others. After Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the news, Brooke Baldwin proclaimed: “Let's just call it what it was. She threw a grenade in there when it comes to the news that she's now saying the White House is now considering not only revoking the security clearance of the former CIA chief John Brennan but also that of Comey, Clapper, McCabe, and Rice.” 

During the news briefing, ABC journalist Terry Moran confronted: “The President is threatening to punish Brennan and Comey and Clapper for saying things about him that he doesn't like. Is that presidential?” He then lectured Sanders about the “free speech he doesn't like and he wants to punish them for it.” 

 

 

CNN analyst Dana Bash at least conceded that some government officials who might have their clearances revoked are political, but aimed that label mostly at the President’s actions: 

It's political. I mean, it's political. I think we’ve learned over the last months and years plus that we need to call things for what they are. This is political. There's no question that James Clapper and others, I mean, size Susan Rice was always a political appointee when she was working for the President of the United States. The others are in different categories. Clapper and Brennan and others, particularly Clapper have been in the United States military. They have served Democrats. They have served Republicans.

A transcript is below: 

CNN Newsroom
7/23/18
2:52

TERRY MORAN: The President is threatening to punish Brennan and Comey and Clapper for saying things about him that he doesn't like. Is that presidential? 

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: The President is exploring these mechanisms to remove security clearance because they've politicized and in some cases actually monetized their public service and their security clearance. And making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia, or being influenced by Russia, against the President is extremely inappropriate. The President contends that the fact that people with security clearances are making the baseless charges provides in appropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence. So — when we have further updates on that front, I'll certainly let you know. 

MORAN: Their free speech he doesn't like, and he wants to punish them for it. 

SANDERS: No. I think you're creating your own story there. The President doesn't like the fact that people are politicizing agencies and departments that are specifically meant to not be political and not meant to be monetized off of security clearances. 

...

2:56

BROOKE BALDWIN: So, Sarah Sanders there. Let's just call it what it was. She threw a grenade in there when it comes to the news that she's now saying the White House is now considering not only revoking the security clearance of the former CIA chief John Brennan but also that of Comey, Clapper, McCabe, and Rice.

...

DANA BASH (CNN chief political correspondent): It's political. I mean, it's political. I think we’ve learned over the last months and years plus that we need to call things for what they are. This is political. There's no question that James Clapper and others, I mean, size Susan Rice was always a political appointee when she was working for the President of the United States. The others are in different categories. Clapper and Brennan and others, particularly Clapper have been in the United States military. They have served Democrats. They have served Republicans. 

It is only in recent months that they have been extraordinarily political, because they say it's what they see is needed with the president who is not respecting institutions, especially the intelligence community where they all worked. By way of context when I say it's political, Michael Flynn was in the intelligence world, in the intelligence community. He headed one of the intelligence agencies, the defense intelligence agency. And after that he was making money. He still had his security clearance. He was on the campaign trail saying that Hillary Clinton should be locked up. He didn't get his security clearance pulled by Barack Obama, the then president. If you're looking for something that is as -- is the closest to compare it to would probably be that. And, again, we have not seen any of the individuals that Sarah Sanders put out now on the campaign trail actively campaigning for or against a candidate. Not yet. 

NB Daily CNN Video Dana Bash Terry Moran
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