Former CIA Director John Brennan reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — and President Donald Trump’s celebration of it — by tweeting a strident attack against Trump:
The president’s critics seem to like Brennan’s tweet. In fact, it confirmed what Trump has been saying all along: that the senior leadership of the intelligence and federal law enforcement services had become highly politicized.
That impression was only reinforced further by a tweet from former UN Ambassador Samantha Power — whose full role in “unmasking” Americans who appeared in foreign intelligence wiretaps has yet to be exposed:
Power’s warning echoes that of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), who warned Trump last January — in the midst of heavy leaks to the media by the FBI and intelligence services: “You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
For these Democrats, it seemed natural to threaten the president with retaliation by the intelligence community. They showed no concern for the abuse of power that might entail.
(By contrast, when evidence emerged in 2014 that the CIA had spied on staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Republicans joined Democrats in condemning the agency’s behavior, calling it “treason.”)
Power later tried to walk back her tweet:
Given her own role in “unmasking” American citizens. that revision may be less than convincing.
In his own statement upon being fired, McCabe blasted the president for having “politicized” law enforcement, accusing him of trying “to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.”
Brennan’s public comments, McCabe’s leaks, and the whole sorry saga of Hillary Clinton’s non-investigation suggest that the politicization happened long before.