A CNN panel fell into disarray Friday after an outspoken political commentator argued in favor of revoking the security clearances of people like Obama era official John Brennan and former Trump White House official Omarosa Manigault on the basis that they’ve been abusing their access to information to procure certain benefits, including monetary profit.
“A lot of these people that have these security clearances — and this is the secret in swampy Washington, D.C — they have them and they keep them because it’s profitable for them after they leave government,” conservative commentator Paris Dennard pointed out.
“Because if you have a security clearance, especially a high-level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gigs pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have.”
Take Brennan, who served as former President Barack Hussein Obama’s CEO director from 2013 to 2017. Investor’s Business Daily notes that he exploited his now-revoked security clearance “by leveraging his access [to top secret information] for lucrative TV gigs in which he did little other than trash the president and mislead the public.”
But God forbid anyone highlight the truth to anti-Trump zealot Philip Mudd, a former Obama-era FBI official who responded by blowing up at Dennard.
“Profitable, Paris!?” he exclaimed. “When I’m 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 U.S. government? Give me one answer, and you’ve got ten seconds. I have no contracts with the U.S. government. They pay me zero.”
Except Dennard had been talking about the private market: “I’m talking about the contracting gigs that you get for being a consultant and a contractor. The consulting firms that they form and that you all get is because you get more money for having the security clearance. Stop acting like that doesn’t happen. That’s the truth!”
“Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with the U.S. Government. Are we clear?” Mudd whined in rebuttal, completely ignoring Dennard’s point.
“Well, I 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,” Dennard added.
He was telling the truth. According to Mudd’s own contributor profile with CNN, which pays him for his commentary, he’s a member of the National Counterterrorism Center, the director of Enterprise Risk at SouthernSun Asset Management and a fellow at the New America Foundation and Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group.
The facts make it clear that he’s benefiting from the security clearance he still possesses. But note also that Dennard’s criticism wasn’t even aimed at him. It was targeted at those who’ve been abusing their clearance to attack President Donald Trump, not that Mudd cared.
“We’re done, Jim. We’re done. Get out!” he shouted at CNN host Jim Sciutto. “Twenty-five years in the service and this is the shit I get.”
“It’s not your show. I’m staying right here,” Dennard replied, before dropping a final truth bomb.
“The politicization 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,” he concluded.
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