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.

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

  1. Why should Brennan, or anyone else, have a security clearance that is not necessary to perform some CURRENT security function? Brennan is acting as if he has some sort of property right in his clearance.

    1. This article gives you an idea as to why a clearance is so lucrative for some and what Sen. Rand Paul was referring to when he said Brennan and others were ‘monetizing’ their clearances. It’s all part of the revolving door of corruption in Washington.

      Excerpt from article:

      “Schweizer explained how security clearances held by former government officials are monetized for self-enrichment.

      “If you do not have a security clearance as a retired FBI director or former DOJ senior executive, if you do not have access to that security clearance, you can’t work for these contractors,” stated Schweizer. “It’s not just an issue of John Brennan or James Comey or whoever having access to these clearances for purposes of knowing what’s going on. It actually affects their bottom line in a big way.”

      1. More from the above article:

        “James Comey’s net worth has skyrocketed 4000 percent. By the time he left [the Department of Justice] in 2005 and came back in 2013, [James] Comey made 6.1 million dollars after [Robert] Mueller granted his employer, Lockheed Martin — the largest contractor in history — a billion-dollar boondoggle. Under Mueller’s direction, the FBI granted multiple spy contracts to Lockheed Martin while Comey was advising them on the legality of their operations. Comey also received another six million dollars working for one of the world’s largest hedge funds and an additional $500,000 for unused vacation time.”

        “Mueller cashed in, as well,” continued Hannity. “In 2013, when Comey took over the FBI while Mueller left to start consulting at a consulting firm, he made more than 3.5 million in about year giving speeches and representing clients who had previously enriched his FBI director; clients like the world’s most profitable spy corporation.”

      2. TBob,
        This has been my contention all along.

        “One of the reasons you’re going to see a lot of pushback and a lot of screaming on this issue of security clearances is that it goes to the heart of their ability to cash in,” said Schweizer. “If they don’t have a security clearance, they cannot cash in with these contractors in this way.

        This security clearance saga demonstrates perfectly how unprincipled those anti-Trumpers are. These are the very same people complaining the loudest about the oligarchy and wanting to end the crony capitalism prevalent in our system today. In reality, they have no interest in preventing the public trough from being available to these people as long as it favors their interests. And to that end, they do not see their whataboutism cries for what they really are; blatant hypocrisy.

  2. I really don’t like the inaccurate headline. Brennan said that Trump’s behavior was treasonous. He did not say Trump committed treason. Argue whether “beharior was treasonous” (the accurate quote) means the same thing as he committed treason (an interpretation of what he meant), but for crying out loud at least the quote accurate. The headline is bassackward.

  3. I like what y’all’ve done with the place, but what are the blue stars and “like” about?
    I’ll take a clue for 500 😀

  4. He said the same thing twice and tried to grease the escape skids with one as the action and one as the excuse. That make him doubly pitiable and himself doubly inexcusable. At this point I would believe a report of finding him hung by his own hands. Absent that he has no honor .

  5. “Investigative Journalist Found Dead in D.C. Hotel Room Weeks After Reporting Bill Clinton to FBI & DHS for Allegedly Raping Boy”

    A dead body in Washington D.C.

    Why isn’t this story in the MSM?

        1. given the body count surrounding the Clintons,

          Tabulated by the same people who told us about all those ‘material witnesses’ to the Kennedy assassination who supposedly ‘mysteriously died’ (of natural causes twenty years later &c).

  6. It’s interesting that c. a year ago, Richard Painter got a lot of press when be used the word “treason” to describe the Trump Tower meeting.
    Then he walked it back.
    So now Brennan does essentially the same thing.
    It backfired on both Brennan and Painter. I wonder if these are “trial balloons …..” let’s see if a ‘treason bandwagon’ can get rolling”…..or if Brennan and Painter are merely stupid.
    Given their prior positions, both Brennan and Painter know better, or should know better, than to use a loaded word like “treason” unless they can really back up an accusation like that.
    That’s why I wonder if these guys are sending up trial balloons, then trying to pull the balloons back if their “treason” comments don’t get traction.

    1. The indignation of Trump supporters over Brennan’s words is the height of hypocrisy. For two years Trump has referred to Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary”. Never mind that Mrs Clinton has never been indicted for any crime, Trump has repeatedly called for her jailing.

      No president in the last hundred years has been as irresponsible as Donald Trump when it comes to smearing people with loaded language. And now we’re supposed view Trump as a ‘victim’ because Brennan voiced the obvious..?? The double standard here defies credibility.

      1. I wonder why both R. Painter and Brennan walked back the “treason” accustation… mollify “Trump supporters”?

        1. They shouldn’t have walked it back. Trump ‘is’ a traitor! For more than a year Trump has denied Russian meddling while everyone in his cabinet acknowledges it. That alone is enough for me. If Trump not a traitor, there is no logical excuse for the repeated denials.

          1. There’s still hope, Peter. Maybe Brennan and Painter will flip-flop again, and take back what they walked back.

            1. There’s an almost pathological mentality with Trump and his supporters. It’s like Trump has a perfect right to be as abusive as he wants towards anyone in his way. But if someone’s mean to Trump, it’s the ultimate outrage!

      2. “The indignation of Trump supporters over Brennan’s words is the height of hypocrisy. For two years Trump has referred to Hillary Clinton as “Crooked Hillary”. ”

        Peter, what a hopeless soul you are. Brennan worked for the President and had security clearance under the President. If you can’t tell the difference between that and your slop you should pack your things and go.

        1. Brennan did NOT work for Trump. But it was a nice deflection on your part since you have no idea what country over party means.

          1. Everyone in the executive branch is eventually responsible to Trump. Read the Constitution. That is the US Constitution written in 1787 and please don’t correct me as you are apt to do by telling me a foolish thing like the Constitution was written in 1776.

              1. No, they don’t take loyalty oaths to the President they do so to the country and the Constitution. If you read the Constitution you will see that the executive branch includes all the people you are talking about.

                Your problem is that you do not understand the Constitution and do not understand what a Constitutional Republic is. You throw a temper tantrum if something doesn’t turn out your way. Your type is infuriated by the arrest of a Mexican illegal who was wanted for murder in Mexico while you don’t give a damn about the over 70,000 Americans who died of drug overdoses. You care about that one illegal Mexican but don’t give a damn about the 12 people killed on Chicago streets in one week. In fact you don’t follow much of the news about American citizens who are being harmed by the actions you promote nor do you follow the news of those who are helped by those politicians you might not support.

                You are a shill and nothing more.

  7. Why wouldn’t a President want an “Irish” Hot-head, who can’t control what he says or feels to have a top secret clearance.

    Its not like he might spill importance stuff or something.

    Why not give Rosie a secret Clearance? She and Brennan sound the same.

  8. What’s interesting about Trump is that his trolling induces members of our political class and media to engage in acts of defoliating tactlessness. We get to see the dishonesty and the clownishness which lies behind their guises and poses.

    1. It’s as though Trump’s tweets unmask these supposed highbrow suits and expose them for the back alley thugs they really are.

      1. When one carefully reviews Trumps tweets and recognizes he is disliked because he is an outsider disrupting business as usual in the political world one realizes the tweets for the most part are appropriately targeted and actually work to his advantage.

        Yes, I know some of the tweets even irritate me but one has to take the good with the bad and for the most part they help him move in the right direction.

      2. Close to two years and these leftovers seem to think they should be treated as special. Retire and let this President do the job we elected him to do!

        1. That would be a refreshing change Sandi. However, that would require they acknowledge the constitution is the supreme law of the land and not them. I won’t hold my breath.

      1. “…defoliating tactlessness” -TSTD

        It’s a phrase that’s found in “Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man” by Garry Wills.

        As noted by Wally Moran, it’s certainly “literary abuse” of one sort or another.

  9. Brennan’s moronic behavior demonstrates he is predisposed to a strongly anti-voter worldview and makes one wonder whether he has all along lacked the professional mindset expected of an intelligence officer. His statements about the President’s putative “Russian collusion” are nothing more than screeds to deceive popular crowds into thinking that Brennan “knows the real scoop” as only a top intelligence officer would know. I’m hoping the discussion will finally turn to a formal policy about former intelligence officers who use their public careers as a platform to allege criminal behavior against an elected official without evidence. It is just not acceptable for a recently retired intelligence officer to scream “fire” in a crowded public setting where there is no evidence of fire. I see Brennan as a disgusting piece of crap whose moronic behavior makes its own case for cancellation of his security clearance. No one voted for Brennan to have an elite intelligence position, but DJT was in fact elected – by the will of the people – to the very office from which Brennan has been screeching to have DJT impeached. All political parties should have this tool but only for compelling situations like Brennan’s arrogant, dishonest, demented claims or treason against a sitting President. (P.S. Obviously, if Brennan knows there is authentic evidence against Trump, a professional intelligence officer would not bellow it from cable news channels.)

    1. The mindset of a spy is to take orders and go do the bad things which are assigned. I take it that he was and has that very same inclination. The only question is who gives the orders now. Or does his own feckless mind dictate? In which case he is out of his depth. And properly had his clearance revoked. I applaud it.

  10. Not only should comrade Brennan have his clearance rescinded (how does an avowed communist obtain a clearance?), he should be marched out to the guillotines with all the other treasonous co-conspirators in the Obama Coup D’etat in America which include:

    Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates,

    Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud,

    Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Brennan, Clapper,

    Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.

  11. He does not work for the government now. Why would he need a security clearance? Maybe he shoplifts at Walmart.

      1. It’s not really a sockpuppet because there is no deception etc. involved. It is merely an alternative that I have used when wordpress starts to deny my posts. That is why I use the same name and identify myself. Others here use multiple sock puppets to deceive or to promote their views as if more than one person is stating those things. I don’t do that.

  12. “Unhinged rhetoric”? You’re criticizing Brennan for unhinged rhetoric in describing the most unhinged and least-professional person ever to occupy the White House? WOW!

      1. Anyone who has listened to his comments and doesn’t recognize how bad those comments are is Shill. That man shouldn’t be permitted anywhere near any of our secret service agencies or their personal.

      2. Your real adult accused the President of the United States of treason, supervised a program of domestic spying which included members of Congress as targets, and lied to Congress about said domestic spying. Not to mention his role in the Russia-Russia-Russia fan dance. He’s all yours.

          1. Peter Hill – half the country believes Brennan has a divine right to a security clearance? Praise the Lord!!!

            1. PC Schulte,,,,
              – Yes, but the polling was done in a phone-in to Rachet Maddow…..could be some issues with the methodology.

          2. Hey Shill,
            You previously posted about having standards. You are in full-throated support for individuals that are proven to have committed serious national security violations. What effing standards are you and half the country satisfied with? Because if you’re okay with proven violators of the law, then you should STFU about those who have not.

          3. “Over half the country believes” WHAT?
            That Trump committed treason…..that’s one thing Brennan put out there to “believe”…. or that Brennan really didn’t mean because he took it back?

          1. Very good article, and you’re right.

            Shill’s post reminds me of this joke:

            Navy Officer: “Hey Chief, why is it a Chief can become an officer but an officer can’t become a Chief?”

            Navy Chief: “Because we have standards.”

      3. A “real adult”?? WtF?


        The liberals who keep describing John Brennan’s work at the CIA and other high national security positions as “serving our Nation” – when it entailed systematic and deliberate lying, torture and rendition, killing of innocents, and other war crimes – make me genuinely sick.

  13. Has Brennan set up a GoFundMe yet for his lawsuit against Trump? That should give him some extra $$$.

    And / Or maybe he should run for office – the Resistance would be happy to shower him with donations cause he’s such a hero.

    1. Ha ha, yeah look for the next GoFundMe scam put up by “Friends of Resistance Hero John Brennan” where they’ll post an emotional video of Brennan admitting that Trump “broke” him.

      “I’m gonna be honest…he broke me….Trump broke me…”

    2. Members of the security caste at that level have had both the operational skills, experience, and opportunity to engage in a level of financial chicanery that would make Manafort blush. It’s a regular part of the “tradecraft” to set up black budgets and income.

      And get away with it. Dont worry Brennan has no need of plebian forms of assistance like Gofundme.

  14. What happened to “Jonathan Turley” yesterday – it was in page error mode? Today the site is slow and unresponsive, appears not to post comments and requires ID log in with every post?

  15. Professor Turley, my apologies but this website is acting up. Unfortunately, my post required three attempts. When it finally posted, all three attempts appeared. Also, the site requires entry of the commenter’s e-mail address and nom de plume for every post.

      1. It’s not George’s problem or the problem of anyone else on the blog since many have made mention of the problem including Darren. The only thing that can be said for you wildbull, is that you were too stupid to notice a problem existed.

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