Reading President Trump’s Twitter feed over the past week, it’s hard not to conclude that he feels the walls are closing in. It started with his former adviser and fellow reality TV star Omarosa’s new book. She accused him of being a racist and, even more unsettlingly, revealed that she has been taping conversations with people in the campaign and the White House, including the president himself.
Meanwhile, Paul Manafort’s trial was coming to a conclusion. Trump seemed so unnerved by that spectacle that he went before the cameras and hinted strongly to any supporters on the jury that he thought they should acquit his former campaign chairman because the whole trial is “very unfair.”
In what seems to have been a blatant attempt to change the subject, Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, ostensibly for his erratic behavior on the internet. (That took some real chutzpah.) This dramatic action resulted in major pushback from the intelligence community, starting with a scathing Washington Post op-ed by retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven, the man who led the bin Laden mission. He asked for his own security clearance to be revoked in solidarity with Brennan:
Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation. If you think for a moment that your McCarthy-era tactics will suppress the voices of criticism, you are sadly mistaken. The criticism will continue until you become the leader we prayed you would be.
This was followed by similar criticisms from top intelligence officials going back nearly 40 years.
The Washington Post reported over the weekend that the administration has a list of more such enemies at the ready. They’re subject to having their clearances removed when the White House needs to shift the media attention. If that’s the case, look for more…