Brennan: I Did Not Mean Trump Was Treasonous When I Said His Actions Are “Nothing Short Of Treason”

220px-John_Brennan_CIA_official_portraitI have been critical of the decision of President Donald Trump to rescind the clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan and to release a list of other officials to be reviewed — officials who are uniformly critics of the President.  Despite my criticism of everyone on the list, I viewed the unprecedented action to be unwarranted and retaliatory.  However, Brennan himself does not help the case for those of us opposing the action.  This weekend Brennan walked back his earlier reckless statement that Trump press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin was treasonous.  Now Brennan insists that when he called Trump treasonous he did not mean that he actually committed treason.

Brennan showed little professionalism or judgment in proclaiming that the press conference was “nothing short of treason.” It was precisely the type of unhinged rhetoric that Trump cited in the order. While it does not justify the action taken by Trump, it does show how Brennan has lost his objective position in the ongoing controversies.  He only made it worse during an interview Friday.

Brennan told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that he did not say that Trump committed treason but rather that the press conference “rose to treason.”

He then added

“And for Mr. Trump to so cavalierly so dismiss that, yes, sometimes my Irish comes out and in my tweets. And I did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and nothing short of treasonous, because he had the opportunity there to be able to say to the world that this is something that happened.  And that’s why I said it was nothing short of treasonous. I didn’t mean that he committed treason. But it was a term that I used, nothing short of treasonous.”

I previously criticized Anthony Scarramucci when he blamed his outburst with a reporter on his Italian upbringing.  Given the other Irish side of my family, I have take equal umbrage with the suggestion that Brennan’s reckless comments were due to his “Irish coming out.”  It was stupidity coming out since such a press conference is no more the basis for treason than it is genocide.

To now say that “nothing short of treasonous” does not mean “treasonous” suggests that Brennan has gained neither clarity nor credibility in the interim on the subject.

234 thoughts on “Brennan: I Did Not Mean Trump Was Treasonous When I Said His Actions Are “Nothing Short Of Treason””

  1. One has to question privileges given to those whose buttons are so easily pushed by some one like Trump. For Trump this is all just a big game. He whines, yells, and screams whatever comes to mind when it doesn’t go his way and prances around looking for accolades, whether he has done anything productive or not. We have a spoiled brat for a President.

    Brennen should simply work quietly to assist in getting this buffoon out of the Oval Office.

    This also just in; after hearing that Trump intended to show up at the Nov. 11th Remembrance Day parade in Paris, because a parade in DC would cost too much, President Macron of France offered to fund the DC parade, whatever it costs.

    1. Brennen should simply work quietly to assist in getting this buffoon out of the Oval Office.

      And by quietly you mean secretively, right? Yeah, not traitorous or subversive at all. This is why you will never be taken seriously when citing constitution or Bill of Rights in anything you post.

      If Brennan and his cohorts want to remove this President from office, they can do so without the privilege of a security clearance.

  2. “I have been critical of the decision of President Donald Trump to rescind the clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan… This weekend Brennan walked back his earlier reckless statement that Trump press conference with Russian president Vladimir Putin was treasonous. “

    In other words. is Professor Turley stating that he wishes reckless ex security agency personal to continue to have security clearance when they are not adding to the safety of the nation and are paid TV pundits? That seems like a ridiculous position.

    1. Let’s take a larger view of the picture. We have Brennan, who faithfully served under 5 U.S. Presidents–Republican and Democratic, who is publicly humiliated by a lying, racist, misogynistic , reality television performer whose campaign met with Russian agents to get dirt on his opponent, and who has well-known ties with Russians, and who has lied about the reason his campaign met with Russians. Trump publicly stated he found Putin more credible than U.S. government agencies. Russia manipulated social media for the purpose of helping get Trump elected. That fact cannot be disputed.

      The reality television performer revoked Brennan’s security credentials, earned over the course of a lifetime of dedicated service, by falsely accusing him of erratic behavior. The truth is, Brennan’s clearance was revoked for criticizing Trump. Brennan’s institutional knowledge and insights into actions of U.S. enemies is being squandered so that Trump can intimidate others with such clearances from criticizing him. This does smack of treasonous conduct. Potentially placing the U.S. in danger due to loss of valuable intel for purely ego reasons IS treasonous. It may not constitute treason per se, but it surely isn’t patriotic.

    1. mespo – Given Brennan’s history, he deserved to have his clearance pulled. Walking it back means nothing.

  3. I believe it would be useful if you, Professor Turley, would write a post about exactly what security clearances for ex-officers means. How often are they in fact needed, particularly if they are hostile to the administration (regardless of which party in power) and have proven, as Brennan did, that their own ideology and financial gain are superior to the interests of the country.

  4. Did I mention Brennan is the kind of pond scum who parlays his clearance into consulting and pundit jobs? These guys use it as an annuity to get paid after government service. So Trump not only took away Brennan’s ego but his income. Let freedom ring!

    1. There is no reason for ex-officio clearances. No matter which side of the aisle the ex-officer is on (there was a time when we really didn’t know the politics of career FBI or CIA agents and directors). In this highly charged politicized era, as mespo points out above, they use their clearances for their financial gain…and that of the networks they serve.

    2. “who parlays his clearance into consulting”

      I copy this phrase for Hollywood who on another thread discussed corruption. One has to ask, isn’t this a type of corruption that Trump seems to be ending? Should the title of security holder be used to further one’s own financial interests? What benefit is it to the nation? Doesn’t it promote holes in our security system?

  5. As the President might say- “I didn’t really mean to rescind Mr. Brennan’s clearance, but I should act nothing short of rescinding. Maybe I will, maybe I want. We’ll see.”

    1. Another Paul – didn’t Clapper clear out all old security clearances when he came on the scene? Hypocrisy thy name is Brennan.

      1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

        Mr. Kushner met during the campaign with a Russian lawyer who came to Trump Tower promising political dirt on Hillary Clinton. During the presidential transition, he met with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, and the head of a Russian state-owned bank. But when he applied for a security clearance, Mr. Kushner did not disclose those meetings.

    2. Another Paul,…
      Now we have to figure out if Trump “meant to” call Brennan a “partisan, loudmouth political hack”.
      Damn those subtle, ambiguous Trump tweets.😉😄😀

  6. I love that lame excuse that these hog trough feeders NEED the security clearance so that current officials can talk to them about current events. Nothing prevents a phone call. Are our current crop of spooks so foolish that they can’t stop from divulging current classified info? “John, this is Mike Pompeo, when you got Bin Laden, did you use Seal Team Six or Seal Team Five? We got an office pool here at State about it. Oh and the Russians are putting missiles in Crimea! Ooops!”

  7. It’s nice that the Komrade Brennan can blame his shortcomings on the “Irish” in him and get away with it, not having to worry about offending his Irish-descended brethren (and “sistren”), given they’re not a government-protected group. The “Irish” are a minority in America (10.5%) of the population; so are the Italians (roughly 5.5% of Americans, a la Mr. Turley). Both were heavily disparaged upon their collective arrivals into the United States, but if you want to kill an Irish-American or Italian-American, you’re pretty much immune from “hate crime” punishment.

    Fortunately, the Blacks and the Latinos do get government protection. At roughly 18% and 13% of the U.S. population respectively, they’re the largest “minorities” in the country, save for the Germans. Had Bolshevik Brennan a drop of Puerto Rican hemoglobin in him and cited his “hot headed Latin blood” for his ill-advised comments, the press and SJWs would have its collective underwear in a knot and CNN would be on fire.

    Well, at least he didn’t blame anything on the poor Asians, who at 6% of the American population, can’t get a minority break on anything, including admission to Harvard! Throw the Japs into internment camps during WWII, treat the Coolies like dogs while they laid down the toughest track in America, but still – “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”

    Ah, the double standard of racism in American. Don’t ya just love it?

    1. Doubtmiester – Are we sure it is not the CPUSA or the Muslim Brotherhood that is coming out. 🙂

  8. Turley wrote, “It was precisely the type of unhinged rhetoric that Trump cited in the order. While it does not justify the action taken by Trump, it does show how Brennan has lost his objective position in the ongoing controversies.”

    Yes, yes, yes, Turley is right. Brennan’s rhetoric was unhinged. Of course, Trump’s rhetoric is also often unhinged. Brennan has lost his “objective position” about “the ongoing controversies.” You know what? I’m pretty sure we all knew which “side” Brother Brennan was on from the get-go. But Brennan’s lack of “objectivity” does not make Brennan’s “subjective position” about “the ongoing controversies” wrong. Does Trump have an “objective position” about “the ongoing controversies”? How could he? Trump is literally “The Subject’ of “the ongoing controversies.” So, does Trump’s lack of “objectivity” about “the ongoing controversies” make Trump wrong? Well . . . Does it?

      1. Trump sees no reason why it would be Russia. And Trump sees no reason why it wouldn’t be Russia. If that’s what passes for an “objective position” in the “ongoing controversies,” then . . .

      2. David, statements like this always give rise to the same question. List the significant mistruths of Trump that have to deal with significant Presidential issues.

        At this point there is generally silence or some stupid mistruths that aren’t mistruths or have to do with personal issues. Additionally David, one needs to provide proof something you should understand based on your chosen discipline but something that you always seem to lack.

    1. There are bigger issues at play here.
      I.E., will L4D give out another one of her hard-earned, highly cherished A++ grades to Hollywood for a terrific performance here?
      It would seem to meet L4D’s high A++ standards.

        1. “Nash, WTF are you here for?”
          I’m just here for the easy grade…I’m trying to get an A++ from L4D.😉😊

            1. L4Yoga enables both David Benson and Marky Mark Mark – we appreciate you outing yourself as a hen. However, it will be a cold day in hell before any of us eat crow.

              1. And the day after that cold day in hell you’ll get your OED citations from Dr. Benson.

                Always looks on the bright side of life.

  9. I wonder what the DeepState hypocrites think of the Merkel-Putin summit this week? What, no wringing of hands, calling Merkel a “traitor” to her NATO partner the United States? Diplomacy between Russia and the West is not only proper but to be encouraged you say? Just not when Trump tries to engage in it, apparently.

    I for one have heard Brennan say on cable TV scores of times that Putin has something on Trump and that Putin is Trump’s “handler”. To suffer these baseless and irresponsible statements made by an ex-CIA chief is bad enough, but to allow Brennan to create the impression when he makes them that he knows stuff that ordinary Americans don’t due to his security clearances is a bridge too far.

    Calling the President of the United States a “traitor” and a “foreign agent” of Russia is miles beyond merely “criticizing” the President.

    1. stepheng2010 — “Traitor” is defined in the constitution and requires a state of war. Brennan went to far in loosely throwing words around.

  10. Rumor or fact?

    John Brennan was stationed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the 1990’s & converted to Islam. The claim’s fire was fueled after Brennan was sworn in to his office not on a Bible but on a copy of the Constitution.

    The rumor about Brennan’s conversion to Islam coalesced after a 9 February 2013 radio broadcast during which former FBI agent John Guandolo levied the accusation.

    Guandolo remains the sole source found for this claim about John Brennan’s being a Muslim, with no versions of it tracing back to any source other than him. The only thing approaching proof the former FBI agent had cited in support of his claim is the fact that Brennan once said during a speech that he had “marveled at the majesty of the Hajj.” Since the Hajj is an annual pilgrimage undertaken by Muslims to Mecca, a holy city that non-Muslims not are allowed to enter, Guandolo arrived at the extremely far-fetched conclusion that Brennan himself must be a Muslim in order to have marveled at it.

    Brennan has managed to successfully hide his religious beliefs from the entirety of the vast intelligence network.

      1. Rumor or fact reply from hollywood: Yes, and “you” are full of sh*t. F*ck you.

        Hey hollywood, what got the steam coming out of ears today? You crashed my post & started cursing & swearing.

        1. I did not “crash” your post. I merely exposed its falsity. Why you choose to bring up false stuff is your problem.

          1. Hollywood, as I’m sure you know, the comments section at the Turley blawg is positively rife with “unhinged rhetoric” that has “lost” its “objective position” in the “ongoing controversies,”–assuming, that is, that the rhetors at issue ever had such an “objective position” to begin with. Consequently, we are all now at risk of having our security clearances revoked by order of “The Subject” of “the ongoing controversies”–assuming, of course, that any of us blawg hounds ever had any such security clearance to begin with.

            How the blazes is Turley supposed to continue his principled defense of The First Amendment right to engage in “unhinged rhetoric” that has “lost” its “objective position” in the “ongoing controversies,” if Turley’s entire kennel of blawg hounds have their security clearances revoked by “The Subject” of those “ongoing controversies”? Isn’t that very rhetorical question, itself, unhinged? Yes. But.

            What if the best way to put the kibosh on wild-eyed conspiracy theories were to grant security clearances to the tin-foil hat conventioneers? Then they could be threatened with revocation of their security clearances the moment their rhetoric becomes unhinged and loses its objective position in the ongoing controversies. Would they fall for it? It’s exactly what they’ve always wanted. Isn’t it?

    1. Rumor undoubtedly.

      But it’s fact that Pinko John voted for the Commies in the 1976 presidential election and somehow still ended up running the CIA. Dixiecrat Carter just wasn’t apparatchik enough for him.

  11. Brennan deserved to lose his clearance. As a matter of fact, most officials have no need for a clearance once they leave service. If there is later a need to see TS docs, there are protocols in place to allow that. Next, Brennans conduct is enough to toss him out. He was a political appointee and he violated rule number 1 when you retain such a clearance, and that is to stay quiet. But then again Brennan was despised as a political hack while at the CIA and was widely disparaged by operators in the field. He was considered a incompetent punk.

      1. David Benson owes me nine citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after twelve weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – If you can prove he is Making Stuff Up, prove it and cite your sources. Otherwise, you are just the King of Making Stuff Up.

    1. In other words, you did not watch the interview. Yes, clearance is useful for institutional memory (which, of course, Trump is trying to erase–1984). and, or course, he has the support of numerous prior directors and employees. Trump, nada.

      1. What do you mean by institutional memory? Is it that because an ex-official knows things? One doesn’t need security clearance to express what one knows. The only reason for security clearance is for the individual to be given secret information.

        If the individual is useful he can be provided security clearance for a specific reason or time period. No need to have TV pundits using the idea of security clearance to get better positions on TV so that what he says might be assumed to be accurate (even if it isn’t) solely because of that security.

        Corruption can occur side by side with titles that aren’t necessary and you have stated “What does it profit a country to have a good economy if it is comes at the cost of rampant corruption? This is an example of a place where corruption can be reduced so I would think that you should support some type of action that limits the security clearances of ex-officials. This should not be based on ideology and politics.

  12. It’s the perogative of any POTUS to revoke access to classified information to anyone because he is the ultimate arbiter of access all sensitive government information; Brennan’s opine alludes to his marketable value as an anti-Trump consultant – nothing more

    1. DB BENSON,
      I don’t think that Brennan could collect his paycheck for his TV appearances if he did “walk off into the sunset”.
      Also, he no longer has a position inside of the govenment. He can stay “revelant” and in the public eye, as well as collect his $$ from the networks.
      And along with people like Comey, he can pretend that he’s some sort of moral beacon for the country.
      Brennan has no incentive to walk offstage.

        1. Hollywood is as articulate as ever.
          His literary skills are on full display here in more than one comment.

            1. This is an interesting post that I hope Professor Turley will highlight in view of his views on free speech. I did not make this post. It is fraudulent. Why is this permitted on your blog, Professor? FTR, I am straight. FTR, I am not suffering from any STDs. So the person who managed to post this stuff should be outed and barred from the site. Mr. Nash appears an obvious suspect. Let him clear his name or be banned.

                    1. That’s not the real hollywood. I think C V Brown might be back and posing as fake hollywood.

              1. Hollywood, Nash is not technically competent enough to pose as a sock-puppet. I think your primary subject is whoever posted under the name Michael j Irwin.

              2. I have noted before, at least twice, that Hollywood came to this site lying and whining.
                And that does save time when it’s clear right from the start that the person is basically a lying troll.
                L4D’s adoption of Hollywood, excuses for Hollywood, and handing A++ grades out not withstanding, Hollywood still does what anonymous, obnoxoious, lying troll does.
                And that is fine with L4D…..I don’t eat crow, but all I see is that loony old bat L4D in any case.
                You and Hollywood make an excellent couple, and it looks like they will be very happy together pulling the same stunts here.
                I don’t want to cut into L4D’s time on her website here, so I’ll let her go back to playing her regular games.

              3. That’s not the way it works, you clown.
                If you want to continue making stupid, wild accusations you will certainly do so.
                A lying, anonymous troll like you obviously can and will blurt out any stupid accusation whenever the troll mood strikes you.
                I’m not playing your stupid game of “let him clear his name”.
                If I were to borrow someone else’s name, it sure as hell would not be yours.
                I don’t care what your deluded self “suspects”, or about your asinine demand that I “clear my name”.
                If you’re going to make an accusation, back it up, you LSOS.

        2. Did you ever bother to think that all those “bosses” have a vested interest in keeping their security clearances?

          Did you read the text of their comments. It really didn’t have to do with removing ex-officials security clearance. It had to do with politicizing such removal. However, one should be reminded that many of their appointments are political in the first place so politics is going to exist.

          Best way to handle the problem is to get rid of all security clearances of ex-officials with the ability to reinstate security for a limited time on a need to know basis only. Need to know is a good protective mechanism. That is why I believe we have things like code secret that exceed top secret.

          1. What Allan sez makes sense.

            “Best way to handle the problem is to get rid of all security clearances of ex-officials with the ability to reinstate security for a limited time on a need to know basis only.”

        3. Benghazi survivor and former Army ranger Kris Paronto – who lost his security clearance years ago after telling his account of the Benghazi attack tweeted

          @KrisParonto

          Of course the former @CIA and @ODNIgov directors sign a petition, because they want the continue to feel they are above the law and above us common folk….no more eltists, rules apply to you just like everyone else. @JohnBrennan #DeepState #crybabies

          1. The avatar for the commenter named Spiked is identical to the avatar for the commenter posing as Hollywood just upstream from here:

            Hollywood says: August 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM

            What Allan sez makes sense.

            “Best way to handle the problem is to get rid of all security clearances of ex-officials with the ability to reinstate security for a limited time on a need to know basis only.”

            One wonders if Allan will find fault with Spiked for posing as Hollywood. Or will Spiked’s flattery of Allan get Spiked everything?

            1. “The avatar for the commenter named Spiked is identical to the avatar for the commenter posing as Hollywood just upstream from here:”

              Diane seems blind to a lot of things as well as colorblind.

              Hollywood made a nice comment that didn’t need to be degraded by the likes of you.

    1. And that is based on? Evidence? Fox News? Infowars? Rush? Drudge? Any credible source? No, just bullsh*tting.

  13. Brennan waffling like the ktichen at IHOP.. There goes his money and if anyone had trust in him there went his big pay check.

        1. Hollywood, if you are a credible source then you would be providing your input not a bunch of citations that frequently don’t say what you are saying.

          1. Listen up Allan: The real hollywood is being trolled by a catfish hollywood. And Allan is arguing with the catfish hollywood.

            Allan is dumb as dirt. It’s painful to watch. I hate feeling sorry for Allan. But there’s no way to avoid it.

            1. L4Yoga enables both David Benson and Marky Mark Mark – I would think that if they are randomly assigned avatars, there are a finite number.

            2. Diane, Hollywood was being trolled by someone who accused Hollywood of being something he apparently is not. That false avatar likely is not the same person as spiked who is different from Hollywood.

              You accuse people of being dumb, but that is only because you and your brains have been separated for a long time.

              For one that has had to change her avatar due to continuous embarrassments you shouldn’t be commenting about those that have more than one alias especially since you seem to screw things up.

  14. What does genocide have to do with this? I don’t care if you’re related to Bob Turley or not. Your comment is nonsense. Brennan accorded himself well with Maddow and made a lot of cogent points which you conveniently ignore in your nonsense post, Turley. Get a grip. Quote the whole interivew or STFU.

    1. I refuse to believe that it is possible to make cogent points with Mad Cow and be noticed.. Her applause awaitingi smirk smirks take up more lens space than a stuffed Strzok

      1. Interesting that you refer to Ms. Maddow as Mad Cow. Who are your sources? What are their credentials? Rush? Drudge? Carlson? Hannity? Jones? Ingraham? Turley? Pick one.
        Rachel Maddow has a Doctorate in Politics she obtained at Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. Turley, not so much. The rest of your crew, nada. So,, you are under water here. The Meg is coming for you.

        1. A doctorate in politics and a dollar 50 will buy you a cup of coffee at the waffle house. Exhibit a: Mad Cow’s. performance on the “no path to 270 routine”. Exhibit B: Mad Cows performance on the Trump tax form.
          I am quite certain that there are exhibits C through Z, but because I make a point of not watching her idiotic program, I’m not aware of them.

          1. I remember a lot of comments made at the time about the tax reform package with many of them being untrue. Notice how the tax reform package is no longer being discussed.

        2. One can only debate those things in black and white such as limited sentences, paragraphs or a short portion of a video with all the rest available for viewing. If one doesn’t provide that then what they are saying is suspect.

          What is printed by any source is not necessarily true and what you think is a reliable source hasn’t been reliable for decades. Real news doesn’t include editorialization. Editorials are left for the op-ed section.

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