President Trump this morning suggested he might revoke the security clearance of Philip Mudd, a CNN contributor and former CIA bigwig. Mudd made headlines over the weekend for berating a Republican pundit who accused former intelligence officials of monetizing their security clearances. “They have them and they keep them because it’s profitable for them after they leave government,” explained Paris Dennard during a CNN discussion on Sunday. Dennard’s comment enraged Mudd; with eyes bulging, he screamed at Dennard, demanded that he offer proof (“you have ten seconds!”) then told him to “get out” of the show. He finished with a flourish: “Twenty five years in the service and this is the shit I get?”
But Mudd’s tirade is less about being insulted and more about being exposed. Not only is he a news analyst for hire, Mudd runs his own consulting firm. Mudd Management is “a company specializing in security consulting; analytic training; and public speaking about security issues.” He writes books and articles; advises numerous organizations; and will speak at your upcoming event for a cool five-figure sum.
He also sells t-shirts on his website that feature his headshot and the quote, “I am a Proud Shitholer.” In another unhinged interview with CNN host Don Lemon last January, Mudd (who appeared to be inebriated), insisted that “shitholers built this country a hundred and ten years ago. I worked for shitholers who rebuilt this country after 9/11.” He then used the N-word in front of the black newsman. Several weeks after the inauguration, Mudd said his former colleagues viewed Trump as a “circus clown” and not as the president.
During the Parkland, Florida school shooting, Mudd broke down on the air and CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer had to cut him off. And last August, he told Jake Tapper that “the government is gonna kill this guy.” He was referring to the President of the United States. A former national security expert with security clearance suggested on air that State Department and CIA officials would assassinate their own president. (Tapper tried to undo the damage by hinting to Mudd the word “killing” was a metaphor. LOL.)
This is not a stable guy.
The disturbing threats and accusations being made by former intelligence chieftains, including John Brennan, James Comey, Michael Hayden and James Clapper, should alarm all Americans regardless of political affiliation. Their outrageous and borderline seditious conduct over the past several months justifies the president’s pledge to review the security clearances for every single former government official. Trump should make the case that this is about national security, not politics.
Unbalanced people like Mudd should be under some kind of mental evaluation, not armed with the government’s most sensitive secrets. Trump should move faster.