Donald Trump’s meeting at the CIA Memorial Wall of Agency Heroes on Saturday drew quick criticism from the organization’s former director. Former CIA Director John Brennan was in disbelief over Trump’s speech in which he spent nine minutes of a 15-minute speech to focus on the crowd size of his inauguration and to diss the media.
According to Nick Shapiro, a former aide to John Brennan, told NBC News that the ex-director was “saddened” and “angered” by Trump’s speech.
“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes.”
Shapiro added that Brennan feels Trump should be ashamed of himself over the incident.
Donald Trump arrived at the CIA on Saturday to meet agents face-to-face for the first time since the contentious feuding he’s done with Brennan regarding the scandalous dossier that made news a few weeks ago. Trump likened the intelligence agency to being Nazi Germany because he viewed it as an attempt to bring him down. Brennan reacted when Donald Trump made such outrageous claims about the CIA.
The CIA aren’t happy about Donald Trump’s first speech at their headquarters https://t.co/ZcXgSvp6kI
— The Independent (@Independent) January 22, 2017
Trump expressed appreciation for the CIA and all of the intelligence by insisting no one has more respect for them than he does. He spent a brief amount of time praising the organization and the rest talking about himself. The speech took place at the wall where 117 stars in the lobby is a memorial to those who’ve lost their lives on duty. It’s noted that presidents of the past who’ve spoken there are respectful and emphasize the sacrifice that CIA officers and their families have made. In Trump’s case, he blasted the news media, bragged about the size of his inaugural crowds, and praised himself.
“I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field. I said, ‘Wait a minute! I made a speech!’ I looked out. The field was — it looked like a million, a million and a half people!
“It looked honestly — it looked like a million and a half people. Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.”
Donald Trump continued in his speech at the CIA memorial wall that the media hates on him so much, they can’t get past it. The new commander-in-chief added that the intelligence agency will get a lot of backing from him — so much so that they may think they’re getting too much. He kidded around with the agents, presuming most of them voted for him, but he wasn’t going to ask for a raise of hands.
Donald Trump says CIA will get ‘so much’ backing despite his earlier criticism https://t.co/C8oZ0Zsp5O
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 21, 2017
A former senior CIA officer said he was embarrassed, calling Trump’s speech a “free-wheeling, narcissistic diatribe.” He added that it wasn’t exactly a “this hallowed ground moment” for Trump.
Another former CIA official who supports Donald Trump thought the meeting was a success, according to the report.
Donald Trump tweeted that he had a successful meeting with the CIA.
“Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people. WIN!” he wrote.
Donald Trump is off to a rocky start with the intelligence community as he begins his presidency. Overall the start has been bumpy with the huge protests converging across the country and world since Trump was sworn in. So far, Trump has put a spotlight on the size of his inaugural crowds and lashing out at protesters since entering office.
[Featured Image by Olivier Doulier/Getty Images]