Former CIA and FBI official Phil Mudd had "strong words" when he was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had a reasonable rationale for wanting to delay the president's State of the Union speech.
"Do you believe that this is a real national security threat?" Blitzer asked before listing all of the important government figures who would be in attendance should the speech continue as scheduled.
"You're gonna have all one hundred senators," he said, "435 members of the House, the diplomatic core, the Supreme Court justices, you're gonna have members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the entire Cabinet, with one so-called designated survivor who doesn't come because of a God-forbid some sort of security incident."
"Is this a legitimate security concern?" he asked.
"Heck no!" exclaimed Mudd, "I mean this is political genius, I give Nancy Pelosi credit for her political sense."
"It's national security nonsense!" he added to laughter from the panel.
'This is a Kardashian moment, this is fake!'
Pelosi had claimed that because of the government shutdown it would be too difficult to provide security for all the members of government who would be attending the event, and she implied that she would force the president to delay the speech.
Mudd made mincemeat of that rationale, even as he praised Pelosi's political maneuvering.
"We're talking about less than 60 acres in the huge national security threats of U.S. senators, U.S. congressmen, members of the Cabinet, Supreme Court justices, and guests of, for example, the president, and we can't secure 58 acres?" Mudd explained. "Are you kidding me?"
"There's 48,000 plus flights every day in this country, Wolf," he continued, "they're still flying and the FAA, which in the midst of this crisis is still operating, can manage 40,000 plus flights and we can't do 58 acres?"
"I applaud her for coming up with the genius of trying to corner the president on this," Mudd concluded, "but from a national security perspective, this is a Kardashian moment, this is fake!"
Here's the video of Mudd ripping down Pelosi's protestations:
.@wolfblitzer: Is holding the State of the Union during the shutdown "a legitimate security concern?" Fmr CIA offi… https://t.co/TCpsfUjCGi— The Situation Room (@The Situation Room)1547682848.0