WASHINGTON — When using the retaliatory revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance, the White House inadvertently revealed its crisis-management messaging strategy — keep big announcements within a pocket to lob later like news flash bombs.
President Trump’s announcement they was stripping Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump, of his clearance was notable not only because it was an admission that your decision had not even attempt to make use of security, but instead Trump’s anger at Brennan’s criticisms.
The original draft of Trump’s statement given yesterday with a reporters was dated July 26, 2018 — 20 days before yesterday. A new statement while using the date removed was given for the press right after.
That gaffe says Trump had chosen to strip Brennan’s clearance last month — days after he threatened to do so — after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) met with Trump to induce him to look at such action.
The delay within the announcement until yesterday, equally as headlines focused on former Trump aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s claims that Trump was recorded setting up a racial slur, demonstrates Brennan’s punishment served a dual purpose: punishing Brennan’s outspokenness and changing the niche.
It worked: In no time what is this great cycle changed, and Brennan himself was giving an active interview on cable network MSNBC.
Still, Trump’s explanation the decision scaled like Brennan’s “erratic conduct and behavior” brilliant “wild outbursts web television — in regards to this Administration” spurred free speech concerns.
Trump also revealed an online enemies list, ticking away from the names associated with a variety of former and current officials — all Trump critics — to whom he or she is pondering precisely the same action, including former FBI Director James B. Comey, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, former national security adviser Susan Rice, recently fired FBI official Peter Strzok and current DOJ official Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked throughout the 2016 election for Fusion GPS — the firm that commissioned a dossier on Trump.
The list was thought to be a stern warning shot.
Eric Columbus, an ancient Justice Department and Homeland Security Department counsel, said that while Trump’s move “doesn’t matter for Brennan,” who no longer received security briefings, “perhaps it will have a huge chilling affect others.”
Brennan himself tweeted the move is “element of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics.”
“It will gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, regarding the tariff of speaking out,” Brennan said. “My principles are worth way over clearances. I cannot relent.”
Based on yesterday’s announcement, neither will Trump.
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