The former deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Centre launched a furious attack on a pro-Trump commentator on CNN yesterday. Phil Mudd began shouting at Paris Dennard and told him to leave the studio following heated exchanges about security clearances for former top officials.
Dennard was defending President Donald Trump’s decision to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance. Dennard claimed that former officials profited from their security clearance, parroting a pro-Trump talking point. Mudd took strong objection to the idea he was making bank from his service to the country.
“Profitable, Paris? When I’m requested to sit on an advisory board, let me ask you one question, how much do you think I’m paid to do that at the request of the U.S. Government?” Mudd shouted, visibly enraged. “Give me one answer, and you’ve got ten seconds? How much?”
Dennard remained calm, but asked Mudd how much he made from private consulting. He suggested that former officials make a large amount of money in this way. Mudd explained he did not profit, but Dennard pushed his point about DC consulting companies.
““Zero. I get zero dollars from consulting companies that deal with the U.S. Government. Are we clear?” Mudd yelled.
Dennard was not satisfied and went on to suggest Mudd was being less than honest.
“Well, I will be clear in saying that everybody in Washington, D.C. knows — if you don’t want to be honest about it, that’s on you, — but if you have a security clearance and you keep it, you get more money to have it,” Dennard said.
By this point in the show, Mudd had visibly lost his temper.
“We’re done, Jim. We’re done. Get out!” Mudd demanded. “Twenty-five years in the service and this is the shit I get?”
Dennard said he was going nowhere and advised Mudd to be less ‘defensive’. The obviously shaken host continued to allow Dennard to claim former top officials made money from security clearances in ‘swampy’ DC.