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Trump teases revoking a former CIA analyst’s security clearance after his heated debate on CNN

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump.
Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump hinted that he may revoke
    another US intelligence official’s security clearance on
    Monday, after a viral video showed the official in a heated
    argument with a commentator on CNN.
  • The official is Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst and
    FBI national security branch deputy director. 
  • Trump’s message follows a heated debate between Mudd
    and Republican strategist Paris Dennard, in which Mudd grew
    visibly upset after being accused of making “more money” from
    consulting firms because of his security clearance.
  • Trump described Mudd as being “totally unglued and
    weird.”

President Donald Trump hinted that he may revoke another US
intelligence official’s security clearance on Monday, after a
viral video showed the official
getting into a heated argument
with a commentator on CNN.

The official is Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst and FBI
national security branch deputy director. His argument
with Republican strategist Paris Dennard on CNN Friday night
made the rounds on social media throughout the weekend and into
Monday.

“Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become
totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD
over Brennan’s Security Clearance,” Trump said on Twitter.

“Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have
such a Clearance. Should be REVOKED?,” Trump added.

Trump was referring to the Friday debate between Dennard, a
former White House official for President George W. Bush, and
Mudd, during which Dennard suggested Mudd made “more money” from
consulting firms because of his security clearance. The
discussion was supposed to have centered around former CIA
director John Brennan’s revoked security clearance, but it
quickly went off the rails after Dennard accused Mudd of
capitalizing on his own security clearance.

Trump and the White House have, without evidence, accused former
US intelligence officials who are critical of Trump of taking
advantage of their security clearances for monetary gain.

“I have zero relationship with the private sector that involve my
security clearance,” Mudd said. “Zero. I get zero dollars from
consulting companies that deal with the US government. Are we
clear?”

“Well I will be clear in saying that everybody in Washington DC
knows, if you don’t want to be honest about [that], that’s on
you,” Dennard replied. “But if you have a security clearance and
you keep it, you get more money to have it.”

“We’re done, Jim,” Mudd said, referring to CNN chief national
security correspondent Jim Sciutto, who was anchoring the news
program. “We’re done. Get out!”


Screen Shot 2018 08 17 at 9.15.21 PM
Philip Mudd, a former CIA analyst and FBI national
security branch deputy director, debates with Paris Dennard, a
former White House official for President George W. Bush, on
CNN.

CNN

“It’s not your show, so I’m staying right here,” Dennard said.
“Don’t be so defensive about this.”

“Twenty-five years in the service and this is the s–t I get? Get
out!,” Mudd said again.

Some former officials are able to keep their security clearances
after leaving their post, in the event the government
requires their expertise on a particular issue. These former
officials would need to view sensitive information in order to
provide their analysis, requiring them to possess a security
clearance.

Following Trump’s tweet, two other CNN analysts and former US
officials rallied to Mudd’s defense on Monday evening.

“Phil Mudd. Seriously?,” retired US Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling,
said on Twitter.

“I talked to Phil this afternoon coming through Dulles,” Hertling
added in another tweet. “I’m sure he’s laughing
about [President Donald Trump] asking [Fox News host Sean
Hannity] about what to do.”

Retired US Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said he was “proud to call
Phil Mudd my friend.”

“Getting to know him has been one of the best things about
working here @CNN,” Kirby said on Twitter. “I value his insight,
candor and wisdom. He’s a national treasure.”

Mudd did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request
for comment Monday night.

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