CNN's Paris Dennard Enrages Fmr CIA/FBI Official Phil Mudd: "Everyone In Washington DC Knows" Clearance Is Profitable

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Former CIA and FBI official Phil Mudd (now a CNN counterterror analyst) debates CNN in-house Trump supporter Paris Dennard about the revocation of John Brennan's security clearance. When Dennard suggested that it is an open secret in D.C. that people who have high-level security clearance get higher-paying consulting jobs (fact check: true), Mudd yelled so loudly that he caused the microphone to reverberate and crackle.

The epic confrontation took place on Friday's Anderson Cooper 360 (with substitute host Jim Sciutto).

"A lot of these people that have these security clearances, and this is the secret in the swampy Washington, D.C., they have them and they keep them because it's profitable for them after they leave government, because if you [have] a security clearance, especially high level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gig pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have. I hope the president continues to do this, and I hope he adds Omarosa to the list, because if she has a clearance, she too because of her actions should have it revoked," Dennard explained after the first outburst from Mudd.





"Everybody in Washington, D.C. knows -- if you don't want to be honest about it, that's on you, but if you have a security clearance and you keep it, you get more money," Dennard said after Mudd asked: "Who are you talking about? Are you talking General Hayden?"

Mudd's question about General Hayden presumably refers to retired four-star general and former DNI Michael Hayden, who is currently a principal at the Chertoff Group, a major security consultancy.

Dennard also said: "You get more money as a consultant for having the security clearance. Stop acting like that doesn't happen."

"We're done. We're done. GET OUT!!!" Mudd yelled.

"Don't be so defensive about this," Dennard said. "Your voice is still here. You can still do whatever you want. But the politicization of the intelligence community under this administration with the people coming on here every day tweeting and talking about this administration, you all have made it about politics, not the president."

UPDATE: President Trump tweeted about the exchange after watching a clip on Monday night's Sean Hannity Show:





PARIS DENNARD: A lot of these people that have these security clearances, and this is the secret in the swampy Washington, D.C., they have them and they keep them because it's profitable for them after they leave government, because if you a security clearance, especially high level security clearance, your contracts and consulting gig pay you a lot more money because of the access that you have. I hope the president continues to do this, and I hope he adds Omarosa to the list, because if she has a clearance, she too because of her actions should have it revoked.

JIM SCIUTTO: I don't know if I would put Omarosa in the same category as the 75 people who signed the letters. But, Phil Mudd, I imagine you want to react.

PHILIP MUDD: Profitable, Paris? When I am required 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? Give me one answer, and you've got 10 seconds? How much?

DENNARD: I'll ask you a question. How much are you paid for your contracting gig?

MUDD: ANSWER THE QUESTION!!! I have no contracts with the U.S. government that pay money. Zero.

DENNARD: I'm not talking about your role with the federal government. I'm talking about...

MUDD: Oh, who are you talking about? Are you talking General Hayden?

DENNARD: Consultant and a contractor, the consulting firms that they form and you all get is because you get more money when having a consultant for having the security clearance. Stop acting like that doesn't happen.

MUDD: That is incorrect. I have zero consulting relationships with the U.S. government. Zero.

DENNARD: I'm not talking -- Phil, that's a good talking point. I'm not talking about relationship with the government. I'm talking about in the private sector. When you a security clearance...

MUDD: I have zero relationships with the private sector that involve my security clearance.Zero. Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with the U.S. government. Are we clear?

DENNARD: Well, he will be clear in saying that everybody in Washington, D.C. knows -- if you don't want to be honest about it, that's on you -- but if you have a security clearance and you keep it, you get more money to have it.

MUDD: We're done. We're done. GET OUT!!!

SCIUTTO: Phil...

DENNARD: It's not your show. I'm staying right here. Don't be so defensive about this.

MUDD: GET OUT!!!

DENNARD: Don't be so defensive about this. Your voice is still here. You can still do whatever you want. But the politicization of the intelligence community under this administration with the people coming on here every day tweeting and talking about this administration, you all have made it about politics, not the president.

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