Trump admits that he acted against Brennan because he was involved in the Russia investigation
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders read a statement from Donald Trump that he was revoking the security clearance of former CIA director John Brennan for what Trump described as “making unfounded and outrageous accusations.” And while it’s been generally assumed that Trump went after Brennan because the former director was often critical of Trump, including an interview that happened only a few hours before the announcement, the Wall Street Journal notes that there’s a more important issue behind this apparent fit of pique.
President Trump drew a direct connection between the special counsel investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and his decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and review the clearances of several other former officials.
The Trump White House has been the breeding ground for it’s own elaborate conspiracy theory, one where John Brennan is the spider at the center of the Russia investigation universe. Trump blames Brennan for starting the investigation, a theory that involves FBI source Stefan Halper actually being on the CIA payroll when he first asked George Papadopoulos about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. This idea, which itself seems to have no basis in fact, has caused Trump to develop the idea of Brennan as leading a team of enemies that includes former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI director James Comey. Trump sees special counsel Robert Mueller as an instrument of Brennan.
In an interview on Wednesday, Trump made it clear that, despite no evidence that the CIA did anything more than evaluate Russian intrusions and agree with other agencies, he moved against Brennan expressly because of his conspiracy theory regarding Brennan and the Russia investigation.
Trump: I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham. And these people led it!
Just as in the firing of James Comey, only hours after taking action to attack someone he saw as a problem, Trump has admitted that he provided one official document as a literally paper thin cover-up, then went on to admit his real reason: Intended obstruction.