Former CIA Director John Brennan responded to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — and President Trump’s celebration of it — by tweeting a strident attack against Trump:
When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you. https://t.co/uKppoDbduj
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018
The president’s critics seems to like Brennan’s tweet. In fact, it confirmed what Trump has been saying all along: that the senior leadership of the intelligence and federal law enforcement services had become highly politicized.
That impression was only reinforced further by a tweet from former UN Ambassador Samantha Power — whose full role in “unmasking” Americans who appeared in foreign intelligence wiretaps has yet to be exposed:
Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan. https://t.co/VLg94OLL2R
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 17, 2018
Power’s warning echoes that of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), who warned Trump last January — in the midst of heavy leaks to the media by the FBI and intelligence services: “You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
For these Democrats, it seemed natural to threaten the president with retaliation by the intelligence community. They showed no concern for the abuse of power that might entail.
(By contrast, when evidence emerged in 2014 that the CIA had spied on staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republicans joined Democrats in condemning the agency’s behavior, calling it “treason.”)
Power later tried to walk back her tweet:
Whoa! Just home & see much misinterp. of earlier tweet. It’s testament to polarized times that it cd be misread as referring to something other than Brennan’s indignation. So will translate: not a good idea to upset @JohnBrennan bc/ he will raise an angry (& eloquent) voice. https://t.co/YgIjeKGAlp
— Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) March 18, 2018
Given her own role in “unmasking” American citizens. that revision may be less than convincing.
In his own statement upon being fired, McCabe blasted the president for having “politicized” law enforcement, accusing him of trying “to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.”
Brennan’s public comments, McCabe’s leaks, and the whole sorry saga of Hillary Clinton’s non-investigation suggest that the politicization happened long before.
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