Why is Trump Going After the Top Intel Officials Who Briefed Him?
We begin with the latest act of pettiness from a thin-skinned petulant president who today announced that he was considering revoking the security clearances of his critics, naming six former top intelligence officials; former CIA head John Brennan, former FBI head James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former NSA head Michael Hayden and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Loch Johnson, the Regents Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia who served on the senior staffs of both the House and Senate intelligence Committees and is the author of “Spy Watching: Intelligence Accountability in the United States”, joins us to discuss this latest effort to distract the press and feed Trump’s base with more imaginary mendacity from the “deep state”. Since both McCabe and Comey no longer have security clearances, the hollow nature of the ploy is already apparent, and as The New York Times recently revealed, Trump was told of Russia’s meddling in the election and of possible “kompromat” Putin has on him in briefings by Brennan, Clapper and Comey two weeks before taking office. But ever since then, as Trump keeps repeating “no collusion”, he appears haunted by what these “deep state” top officials who briefed him know. Could that be why he is going after them?
Trump and Rouhani Exchange Threats
Then we speak with Juan Cole, a professor of Modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan and author of the blog, Informed Comment at JuanCole.com. He joins us to discuss Trump’s threatening tweet in capital letters to Iran’s president in response to Rouhani’s threat of “a mother of all wars” if the U.S. keeps pressuring customers not to buy Iranian oil. We assess Secretary of State Pompeo’s remarks that Iran is a “mafia state” run by hypocrites in clerical robes who are stealing the country blind, something the Iranian people already know.