Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and Fox Business correspondent Blake Burman all but said straight up that Donald Trump’s revocation of former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance looked vindictive and like an attempt to distract from the ongoing revelations and accusations from former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman.
“Keep in mind that the White House says this is for national security reasons,” Smith said, though he repeatedly suggested that did not pass the smell test.
Smith was joined by Blake Burman, of the Fox Business Network who said the decision “kind of came out of nowhere.” Burman, who had been in the White House briefing where Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had made the announcement, noted that another reporter had asked why Michael Flynn’s security clearance is not in danger of being revoked given that he was fired for lying to Mike Pence and is now “wrapped up” with the Mueller investigation. “It would seem to be a logical question,” Burman said. “Bottom line is this opens up the door … to a whole lot more questions down the line.”
Smith was ready to raise those questions. He brought up House Speaker Paul Ryan’s claim that Trump’s earlier threat to revoke security clearances of Brennan and other critics was “just trolling people,” as Smith put it. Now, Smith said, we have to wonder “if we’re not beginning something that at least to his critics and maybe to some others looks like it’s retaliatory and certainly precedent setting.”
Burman said that everyone in the briefing room expected the briefing to focus on Manigault Newman but that everything changed quickly with the Brennan announcement.
However, in what could have been a warning to White House, Smith said, “The Omarosa story is certainly not going away, especially given that the president keeps tweeting about it."
Watch it above, from the August 15, 2018 Shepard Smith Reporting.
Crossposted at News Hounds.