Former CIA Director John Brennan is no fan of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).
After Politico reported Tuesday that Paul “used the final deliberations of [President Donald] Trump’s impeachment trial to name the alleged whistleblower,” Brennan took to Twitter to insult the Kentucky senator.
“Rand Paul is beneath contempt. He typifies the worst of @realDonaldTrump’s craven enablers,” Brennan tweeted. “Any Senator excusing this dangerous behavior makes a mockery of public service. History will revile all of you.”
Paul returned the barb by pointing out Brennan’s misdeeds while director of the CIA under President Barack Obama.
“You want to know what’s a mockery of public service, John? Killing 500 people outside of any judicial system. Drone strikes on American citizens. Approving British spies to present a dossier of lies paid for by Hillary. Lying to Congress. Your shame alone should shut you up,” Paul tweeted in response.
You want to know what’s a mockery of public service, John? Killing 500 people outside of any judicial system. Drone strikes on American citizens. Approving British spies to present a dossier of lies paid for by Hillary. Lying to Congress. Your shame alone should shut you up. https://t.co/u2ERmv4gE8
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) February 5, 2020
Paul brought up a number of points against Brennan. For starters, he appeared to be referring to the number of civilians killed overseas as a result of Obama’s drone strike program. Most estimates suggest the number of civilians killed by drone strikes Obama ordered was around 300, but the Bureau of Investigative Journalism suggested the number could be between 384 and 807 civilians. Paul’s office did not respond to a Daily Wire inquiry about the number prior to press time.
Paul’s next point referred to Obama’s targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who recruited for al-Qaeda and allegedly helped planned terrorist attacks. When al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen, his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, was also killed, though he was not accused of any wrongdoing. Even die-hard Obama supporters had to admit the killing at least smelled wrong, as U.S. citizens are supposed to receive due process before any kind of punishment is doled out.
Brennan defended Obama’s drone program, claiming that the extrajudicial killings were justified because “as a matter of international law, the United States is in an armed conflict with al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, and associated forces.”
The strike caused such an uproar that even the left-leaning American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the administration, though the case doesn’t appear to have moved since September 2014.
Paul’s next point referred to the “Steele Dossier,” compiled by ex-British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele on behalf of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Steele was paid to dig up dirt on then-candidate Trump using dubious overseas sources. Brennan has defended the dossier.
As to Paul’s last point, it is referring to Brennan’s false testimony before congress in May 2017. Brennan was asked by then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) if he knew “who commissioned the Steele dossier.” Brennan was also asked if the FBI relied on the Steele dossier “as part of any court filings, applications, petitions, pleadings?” Brennan said he was unaware. Brennan also said he was the CIA did not rely on the Steele dossier. Gowdy later claimed to have seen an email from former FBI director James Comey claiming Brennan “insisted” on including the dossier in the intelligence assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election. We now know for sure that the Steele dossier was the main source – if not the only source – of information used to claim Trump colluded with Russia in 2016.