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Mattis: Iran working to destabilize the Middle East

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“Everywhere you find turmoil [in the Middle East], you find Iran’s hand in it,” Defense Secretary James N. Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.

 During an impromptu news conference, Mattis addressed questions about Iran and U.S. efforts to expose Iran’s malicious behavior.

He praised U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s Dec. 14 presentation at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling here that highlighted Iran’s illegal arms program. Haley stood in front of an Iranian missile that Iran’s proxy – the Houthis – fired at Riyadh International Airport, a civilian target in Saudi Arabia. The missile didn’t hit the airport, but if it had, it potentially could have killed hundreds of innocent civilians.

Haley’s briefing included physical evidence that Iran is providing ballistic missiles to the Houthis, Mattis said. “What we are doing in that region,” he added, “is standing by allies and partners, and we’re on one hand exposing, on the other hand helping them build their own capability to reject Iranian influence.”

Other Iranian activities

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In addition to its support on the Arabian Peninsula to the Houthis – a Shia group seeking to take control of Yemen — the secretary cited some of Iran’s activities elsewhere in the region.

“We find Iran actively engaged in keeping [Syrian President Bashar] Assad in power, despite the murder of his own people on the industrial scale, including the use of chemical weapons,” Mattis said. “We see what [Iran has] done with Lebanese Hezbollah in Lebanon and the threat to peace and the support they’ve given to Assad and the threat to Israel, for example.”

There is no military role for the United States in exposing Iran’s activities, Mattis said. “The reason Ambassador Haley was there, and not one of our generals, is this is a diplomatically led effort to expose to the world what Iran is up to,” he said.

(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)

 

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Big League National Security

Senator Rand Paul To Ask POTUS To Revoke John Brennan’s Security Clearance

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In a set of tweets posted by Senator Rand Paul on Monday morning, the Kentucky Republican says he will be meeting with President Donald Trump to ask that CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance be revoked.

“Is John Brennan monetizing his security clearance? Is John Brennan making millions of dollars divulging secrets to the mainstream media with his attacks on @realDonaldTrump,” Paul tweeted Monday morning. “Today I will meet with the President and I will ask him to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance.”

This request by Senator Rand Paul comes on the heels of Tucker Carlson mentioning last week that Brennan still had a security clearance, despite no longer working for the federal government.

The Fox News host called Brennan an “out-of-the-closet extremist”, and further called for Brennan’s security clearance to be removed.

WATCH Sen. Rand Paul on the Tucker Carlson show here:

CIA directors typically hold on to their clearance for several years after they’ve left office, mainly so they are able to share insights with current directors.

Just last week Brennan used the words “nothing short of treasonous” to describe Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and claimed that it showed President Trump was “wholly in the pocket of Putin.”

Brennan, who served under former President Barack Obama, has been accused of political bias by several House Republicans suggesting that his bias may have prevented him from being impartial in 2016. On Sunday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said the committee is planning on calling in Brennan to testify.

During an interview with Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures”, Goodlatte said, “We have lots of questions for John Brennan and he will definitely be sought by the committees for an interview. The chairman continued,”This is an extremely disturbing thing to see both he and (former FBI Director) James Comey, supposedly impartial government officials carrying out their jobs in very important areas in intelligence gathering and law enforcement, express the kind of extreme bias that they’ve shown now,” Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said on Fox News. “which I think reflects quite accurately what they were doing back in 2016.”

Senator Rand Paul just blocked a resolution last week from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would support the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russian election interference, and that demanded the president speak with special counsel Robert Mueller, calling it “crazy hatred” and the resolution was just another sign of “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) called ex-CIA chief Brennan a “disaster” while accusing him of being a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War. Brennan has admitted that he did indeed vote for the Communist Party’s presidential candidate in 1976, Gus Hall, claiming it was just his way of “signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change.”

“John Brennan was a disaster as CIA director. He was a disaster as the counter-terrorism official. He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War,” DeSantis said on Fox News.

Should someone who has called the president “treasonous” have top secret clearance?

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