It’s all hands on deck for John Brennan’s allies on the Sunday shows as natsec veterans show up to complain about his security clearance being revoked. Brennan himself is the lead guest on “Meet the Press” but he has back-up elsewhere. On “Face the Nation” it’ll be former Obama CIA chief Leon Panetta while James Clapper, Michael Hayden, and Obama homeland security advisor Lisa Monaco turn up on “State of the Union.” Interestingly, although several Republican appointees — Robert Gates, Porter Goss — signed a letter in support of Brennan this week, none are scheduled to appear this morning. (Hayden was a Bush appointee but he’s known mainly nowadays as a regular Trump critic on cable news.) Opposition to Trump’s decision about Brennan’s clearance is bipartisan within the intel community but it won’t have that feel on TV.
Appearing for the defense is John Bolton, who’ll be on “This Week” to justify Trump’s decision. That’s a smart choice by the White House, as Bolton will be able to reframe the case against Brennan as one of competence and ethics more so than political antagonism. As for the respective cases against the many other people whom POTUS appears poised to strip of their clearances, that’s trickier. Presumably he’ll make an institutional argument, that it’s silly to let people retain their clearances indefinitely after they’ve left government. Fair enough, but then why not push that policy? Why start with the president’s political enemies instead of a new rule that, say, everyone’s clearance expires six months after re-entering the private sector?
If none of that grabs you, the other guest this morning on “Meet the Press” is Lawrence Persico, a.k.a. the Catholic bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, whose parishes have been in the news lately as you may have heard. Will he spin for the Church or call for a house-cleaning? The full line-up is at the AP.