Adm. Mike Mullen: Trump Revoking Security Clearances Reminiscent of Enemies List During Nixon, McCarthy Era

Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Screenshot)

( – Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who served during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, told “Fox News Sunday” that President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan is reminiscent of the enemies list compiled under President Richard Nixon and during the McCarthy era.

“One of the things for somebody of my age, it immediately brings back the whole concept of the enemies list for — you know, under President Nixon and even before that in the early ’50s, the McCarthy era where the administration starts putting together lists of individuals that don’t agree with them and that historically obviously has proven incredibly problematic for the country,” he said.

“It’s creating a list of political enemies, in particular those who have worked in a government and some very specifically who spent their life in government, and I think hearing from Bill Webster and Bob Gates is a pretty strong signal that doing this would really be off-base,” Mullen said.

Mullen said Brennan “has been incredibly critical of the president” and “that has put him in a political place which actually does more damage for the intelligence community, which is apolitical, even as he’s retired.”

He said he doesn’t support Brennan “being as critical of the president as he has been,” but he also doesn’t agree with Trump pulling Brennan’s security clearance.

Mueller said he’s concerned with the issue of free speech and as long as Brennan is not revealing classified information, then he has a right to speak.

When asked how big a role the Russian investigation plays into it and what if Trump pulls the security clearance of special counsel Robert Mueller and other members of his team, Mullen said, “I think that the president has the authority to grant clearances and to pull them. I think pulling Bob Mueller’s clearance would create, you know, a real political firestorm for him, and I would hope that the president would just let Bob Mueller get through that investigation.

“There is — in the case of Bruce Ohr, who I don’t know, but there is a process that the president is concerned about what he did, to have the inspector general look at it and then there’s an appropriate official that could take appropriate action based on the investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, when asked for his thoughts on Trump’s desire to hold a big military parade in D.C., Mullen said the money could be put to better use, namely to pay military service members and providing them with benefits.

“Well, I had a great privilege of serving for over four decades with the greatest young men and women that the country has. One of the things that our country has done is honor them in so many ways, but I’m not one that thinks we need a military parade,” he said.

“And in fact, whatever the costs are, and there have been varied estimates, I think those costs, those funds can be put to better use. The military is the best military in the world. It’s the best I’ve ever seen and support of them in terms of their pay and their benefits, et cetera, and what they are doing is what’s really critical,” Mullen added.

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