Sen. Rand Paul finds it “alarming” that former CIA Director John Brennan may still have his security clearance even as he steps into a new television career.
The Kentucky Republican joined Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday and discussed Brennan, who is now a senior national security and intelligence analyst at NBC.
Carlson called out Brennan, who no longer works for the federal government, as “an irresponsible partisan combatant who works for a cable news channel and has threatened the president on Twitter.”
“Why in the world would he have a top-secret federal security clearance?” Carlson asked, which would allow him to view classified government documents and personal information on American citizens as well as discuss classified issues with intelligence officials.
“This is alarming,” Paul agreed. “Can he research Donald Trump, can he research his family? Can he type my name into computer search engines, can he look at all of my information?”
“If he has top-secret clearance as unhinged as he is now, he’s calling the president treasonous, saying he is for the death penalty of the president,” Paul added.
“We’ve spoken to knowledgeable sources on this question who say he does. We tried to confirm that with the CIA, they refused to comment. We asked NBC, his employer, they refused to comment on it,” Carlson explained, asking what would prevent Brennan “from speaking to current employees of the CIA or other intelligence agencies and getting secret information from them that could be leaked to the press are used against his political opponents?”
The senator noted that the ex-CIA chief “has a history of leaking information already.”
“He has a history of having a problem with leaking, who in their right mind would want to let him have the power still to search through everybody’s records?” Paul said. “I think it’s completely crazy and the idea that he could be passing secrets to the media, that’s alarming.”
Paul vowed he will be speaking to President Trump about the issue and that the way to stop former White House officials from engaging in partisan warfare is with “overall reform.” The senator said he will be sending a letter to Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
“We are going to press the case and we are going to find out, does he still have clearance and should a person who has called the president treasonous have a top-secret clearance?” Paul said.
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