Tucker Carlson responds to an opinion article former FBI Director James Comey wrote for 'The Washington Post' that was published Tuesday evening.
TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: A couple of hours ago, the Washington Post published an op-ed by former FBI director Jim Comey. In the piece, Comey explains that whatever surveillance the Obama Justice Department conducted on the 2016 Trump campaign was entirely justified and within bounds. Nothing weird about it at all. Yes, American citizens were monitored electronically without their knowledge. But it wasn’t spying. Of course not. It was investigating. It was done for your own good. If you don’t like it, you’re unpatriotic and possibly mentally ill. That’s Comey’s position. What the op-ed didn’t contain was any evidence at all that what he’s saying is true. Comey is a bitter partisan with a long history of lying. But, he suggests, you’ve got to trust him anyway. It’s your duty. OK. Or, here’s another idea: We could see for ourselves what happened in 2016. Declassify all the relevant information and make it public. That way we wouldn’t have to take anyone’s word for it, Comey’s or Trump’s or anyone else’s. The president has suggested doing just that. The left is outraged:
CHRIS HAYES: Trump has every person to believe Barr will use his new powers to aid the president’s anti-deep state propaganda efforts...
HAYES: Trump giving Barr unilateral authority over classification is just a huge deal in the world of intelligence agencies. Barr will be able to override other agencies’ independent classification determinations, and the goal of all this here seems pretty clear. It’s basically to give Sean Hannity material for his television show...
HAYES: So the plan as it appears now is essentially a kind of purge of ideologically suspect members of the intelligence apparatus.
“It’s a purge!” Like Joseph Stalin! Unless we stop the release of this information, people will die! That’s what they’re telling you. Just another day of balanced news coverage on MSNBC. Keep in mind as you watch that clip that Chris Hayes isn’t a CIA flack. He’s a member of the national press corps. But he isn’t arguing for openness. Just the opposite. Hayes is using his position as a public advocate to lobby against giving the public more information. These aren’t military secrets, by the way, or the names of U.S. agents working overseas. This is information about how the FBI spied on Americans while investigating crimes we now know never happened. What could possibly be the justification for keeping that secret? Only the desire to protect the intel agencies from embarrassment. That’s it. And that is exactly why former CIA director John Brennan and others are so anxious to preserve the veil of secrecy:
BRENNAN: I think it’s critically important that the counterintelligence officials continue to carry out their responsibilities and resist these unwarranted and very irresponsible efforts to try and undermine what they’re doing.
Okay, John Brennan thinks it’s risky and “unwarranted” to let American citizens know whether their law enforcement agencies are abusing their power. He believes that kind of transparency is “irresponsible.” Okay. How about we apply the same standard to John Brennan himself? After leaving the White House, Brennan was allowed to keep his security clearance. That clearance increased his value as employee once he entered the private sector. It allowed him access to classified information, which he could then selectively leak to colleagues at MSNBC. How does giving that information to John Brennan help Amercian national security? It doesn’t. It helps only John Brennan. Keep in mind, this is a man who accuses his political enemies of treason, a death penalty offense:
BRENNAN: This is nothing short of treasonous, because it is a betrayal of the nation. He is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
BRENNAN: “Treasonous” is defined as a betrayal of trust and aiding and abetting the enemy so that’s the word that came to mind.
This is not stable behavior. John Brennan is exactly the sort of person who should not have a security clearance. Close to a year ago, on this program, we made that point:
TUCKER: Brennan no longer works for the federal government in any capacity. He holds no official post. And yet, according to two sources we spoke to exclusively today, Brennan retains perhaps the most valuable asset he had in government - a top-secret security clearance... It is terrifying to think that John Brennan still has access to any of that information. Brennan is an out-of-the-closet extremist... This is not a man who should have security clearance.
Shortly after that aired, the President announced he was revoking John Brennan’s security clearance. That was almost a year ago, in July of 2018. What happened next? Pretty much nothing. Apparently John Brennan still has a security clearance. According to the New York Times, the president’s order was, quote, “hampered by aides who slow-rolled the president and by Justice Department officials who fought Mr. Trump.” According to the Times, the same thing happened with documents President Trump wanted declassified. The bureaucracy fought back against the elected president, and won.
This has happened a lot in the past couple of years. According to Bob Woodward’s book, on multiple occasions, the National Economic Council director Gary Cohn stopped the president from pulling out of a trade deal by simply yanking the relevant order off his desk when Trump wasn’t looking. President Trump ordered U.S. troops out of Syria last December, but the order was repeatedly delayed and mitigated. Now, it appears U.S. troops will be in Syria indefinitely. We’re now sending even more troops to the Middle East.
And as we just showed you, the same might happen with the president’s latest call for declassification. John Brennan, among others, is openly calling for the bureaucracy to ignore the order. Like so many on the left, Brennan is precisely what he accuses others of being. “You’re undermining democracy!,” they scream, even as they work to do just that. To recap civics at its most basic: All authority in a representative democracy flows from voters. The president and Vice President are the only elected officials in the executive branch. Subvert their policies and you subvert democracy itself. Brennan knows that. He doesn’t care.