News & Politics

'He's After the Witnesses!': MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Argues that Trump's Latest Outbursts Are Even More Dangerous Than They Seem

The fallout from Trump's unprecedented attack on former CIA Director John Brennan continues.

Photo Credit: MSNBC

When President Donald Trump broke with precedent and unilaterally revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, many observers criticized the move as petty and an assault on the freedom of speech of Trump's critics. But MSNBC's Rachel Maddow argued Thursday night that something much more sinister may be going on.

She noted that Brennan himself has said that he hasn't used his security clearance since leaving government except to review his old notes when needing to testify before Congress or in other circumstances.

And Brennan, she noted, is one of the key figures involved in briefing then-President-elect Trump on the Russia investigation during the 2016-2017 transition. Since any potential obstruction of justice charges Trump may eventually face could relate to the information he received then, Brennan may eventually be called to testify about these events. This also applies to many of the other people the White House has said it is reviewing for the potential revocation of security clearances.

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And that puts Trump's new targeting of Brennan and the others in a much darker light.

"He said explicitly that he did it because these people had a role back in the day leading the Russia investigation — what he called the 'rigged witch hunt,'" Maddow said. "He's not after his critics — he's after the witnesses!"

She also played a clip of former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggesting that the precedent Trump has now established could be destructive in other ways: "The other question I have is: Where does this end? What is to stop President Trump from say, suspending the eligibility for access to classified information of Bob Mueller and his entire team? And they can't operate without access to classified information."

Watch the clip below:

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Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.