President Trump on Monday floated the idea of pulling the security clearance of former FBI official Phil Mudd after he went on a rant on CNN over the weekend in response to the White House decision to scrap the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan.
Trump tweeted that he saw the clip of Mudd becoming “totally unglued and weird” during a heated discussion with CNN analyst Paris Dennard and suggested pulling Mudd’s security clearance.
“Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD over Brennan’s Security Clearance,” Trump wrote in a tweet. “Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance. Should be REVOKED?”
During the debate, Mudd began shouting after Dennard expressed support for Trump’s decision to strip Brennan of his security clearance, saying former intelligence officials use the access to for profit in the private sector.
“A lot of these people that have these security clearances, and this is the secret in the swampy Washington, D.C., they have them and they keep them because it's profitable for them after they leave government, because if you [have] a security clearance, especially high level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gig pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have,” Dennard said, infuriating Mudd.
“I hope the president continues to do this, and I hope he adds Omarosa to the list, because if she has a clearance, she too because of her actions should have it revoked,” he added.
Mudd fired back at the suggestion former officials profit from holding a security clearance. “Profitable, Paris?” Mudd asked. “When I am required to sit on an advisory board, let me ask you one question, how much do you think I'm paid to do that at the request of the U.S. government? Give me one answer, and you've got 10 seconds? How much?”
The former FBI official then became visibly enraged, shouting “answer the question” at Dennard and insisting that he has “zero consulting relationships with the U.S. government” while Dennard continued to explain that he means private sector work.
“We’re done, Jim," he then said. “Get out. Twenty five years in the service and this is the s--- I get? Get out,” Mudd snapped at the end of the segment.
Mudd, who is among the dozens of former intelligence officials that criticized Trump over his decision to revoke clearance for the former CIA director, earned praise from Michael Hayden, a former CIA director whose clearance the president said he's reviewing, calling Mudd a “hero” and a “counter terrorism giant.”