Trump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE on Monday suggested he may pull the security clearance of former FBI official Phil Mudd after Mudd appeared on a heated CNN segment over the weekend to push back against the president's revocation of clearances from other members of the intelligence community 

Trump tweeted that he watched Mudd "become totally unglued and weird" during a debate with CNN analyst Paris Dennard on the president's decision to revoke ex-CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanGraham postpones Russia probe subpoena vote as tensions boil over GOP votes to give chairman authority to subpoena Obama officials Rosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony MORE’s security clearance.

"Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance," Trump said. "Should be REVOKED?"

Trump tagged Fox News host Sean Hannity in the tweet as well. It was not immediately clear if Hannity replayed a clip of the back-and-forth between Mudd and Dennard, which originally aired on CNN on Friday night.


In the segment, Dennard agreed with Trump's decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance and argued former intelligence officials keep their clearances "because it’s profitable for them after they leave government."

"Profitable, Paris?" Mudd responded. "When I am requested 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?" 

"Answer the question," he shouted.

Mudd, who worked under then-FBI Director Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE and spent three decades in the CIA and FBI, asserted he is not paid by the government when he provides consulting work and that he does not use his clearance for work in the private sector.

The two men continued to shout over each other, with Mudd growing more upset.

"We’re done, Jim," Mudd said. "Get out. 25 years in the service and this is the shit I get? Get out." 

Trump justified revoking Brennan’s clearance by saying in a statement that the former CIA chief has made “a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations — wild outbursts on the internet and television — about this Administration.”

In addition to Brennan, Trump said he is considering revoking the clearances of a number of other former intelligence official and one current Justice Department employee.

Skeptics have noted that Trump has singled out individuals who have spoken out against him and have suggested the president may be using the clearances as a political tool to retaliate.

Dozens of ex-intelligence officials, including Mudd, have expressed support for Brennan in recent days and condemned Trump’s decision to revoke his clearance.

Michael Hayden, a former CIA director whose clearance Trump said he's reviewing, responded to Trump's tweet on Monday night calling Mudd a "hero" and a "counter terrorism giant."