Folks were mildly shocked when it was announced on Wednesday that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be holding a press briefing for the second day in a row, considering the increasingly rare nature of these pressers. Once the briefing began, it became abundantly clear why she was going in front of the camera — to change the Omarosa-fueled news cycle by announcing that the president had revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director — and vocal Trump critic — John Brennan.
With Trump pulling security credentials from a former national intelligence chief — without discussing with his director of national intelligence — due to him being critical of the president in the media, let’s take you back a few weeks when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan brushed this off when Sanders first said that that Trump was considering the action against Brennan and other ex-national security officials.
“I think he’s trolling people,” Ryan told reporters while laughing. He added that some of the people named by Sanders — former FBI leaders James Comey and Andrew McCabe — have already lost their clearance and that the issue is in the “purview” of the executive branch.
When pressed again by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt on the issue and whether this was something that you see in “banana republics,” the Republican leader essentially said the leader of the free world shouldn’t be taken seriously when threatening to target his political critics.
“I think he’s just trolling people,” Ryan concluded, quickly moving on to another question.
Good job, Paul.
Meanwhile, Sanders also read off a list of other names of former officials — all Democrats, Trump critics, or folks who served in the Obama administration — who were having their credentials reviewed. At least one of them, Bruce Ohr, is a current Justice Department employee. On the other hand, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was not named despite having already pleaded to lying to the FBI.
Watch the clip above.