As the White House whips up another cycle of media fury over its absurd suggestion that it will try to punish former intelligence officials who are critical of President Donald Trump by taking away security clearances, some astute observers noted that this new line of attack was just an effort at distraction.
Former CIA directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were all among those the White House is targeting. But as CNN's Jake Tapper noted, McCabe, for one, doesn't even have a security clearance.
"The suggestion being made by Democrats and others is, look, President Trump's just trying to change the subject from the fact he doesn't believe the intelligence community and doesn't believe what pretty much everyone else in the country except for the president and some people of a different network think is true — which is that the Russians interfered in the election," Tapper said.
"I think that's true, that he's trying to change the subject and you have seen him do that over the last couple of days," said CNN analyst Nia-Malika Henderson. "The tweet about Iran seemed to be an attempt to change the subject in all caps basically saying 'fire and fury' to rain down on Iran if they smart talk the U.S.Eeven this stuff about the Cohen leaks, the tapes from that, that seemed to be an attempt to change the subject. So this, too, is, I think, in the same category."
Vox's Matt Yglesias noted that in addition to Trump's shifting positions on Russian interference, there was a lot for the White House to want to distract from last week.
"Helsinki was a fiasco, Kavanaugh bombed in early polling, he’s rolling back popular fuel efficiency rules, and his campaign manager is going on trial," he said in a tweet. "Let’s all talk about John Brennan’s security clearance!"
Watch the CNN clip below:
"President Trump's just trying to change the subject" pic.twitter.com/4fSLWfKIvX
— AlterNet (@AlterNet) July 23, 2018
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