The bad blood between former Obama era CIA Director John Brennan and President Donald Trump continues to boil. In one comment that raised eyebrows among observers of the political scene, Brennan, talking about Trump, said, “When the full extent of venality, moral turpitude and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.”
When asked about his comments in an interview with Ailsa Chang on NPR, Brennan elaborated while claiming that he was non-partisan.
“I am a nonpartisan. I’ve worked for Democratic and Republican presidents, and I’ve admired and respected all the ones that I’ve worked for. And I always felt that they were trying to do what was best for the United States. Mr. Trump is a very different person from anybody in my memory that was elected president of the United States.”
“And the things that I said, I stand behind them. I think he is dishonest. He lacks integrity. He has very questionable ethics and morality. And he views the world through a prism of how it’s going to help Donald Trump. And I just think that he has not fulfilled the responsibilities of the president of the United States office.”
Brennan took things even further with this comment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on March 21, 2018.
“The Russians may have something on [Mr. Trump] personally, that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult. That [Mr. Trump] has had this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin…say[s] to me that he does have something to fear and something very serious to fear.”
A few hours later, Brennan tried to backtrack a bit when he told The New York Times, “I do not know if the Russians have something on Donald Trump that they could use as blackmail.”
In an article in the Washington Times, former CIA Clandestine Service Officer and Chief of Station Daniel Hoffman took issue with John Brennan and claimed the former CIA director’s comments had jeopardized national security.
“What I found cringe-worthy is that Brennan was insinuating that Vladimir Putin could control President Trump and that Brennan’s choice of the word ‘speculate’ would be lost on the audience because of his previous position as director of the CIA.”
Hoffman elaborated in his article for The Cipher Brief, titled ” Ex-CIA Chief Brennan’s Broadsides Against Trump Only Help Putin.” Mr. Hoffman wrote that Brennan should have spoken to special counsel Mueller if he had any legitimate concerns about the president.
“If Brennan was genuinely concerned about the president’s trustworthiness, then he should have trusted the process and spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Had he done so, Brennan would have avoided the collateral damage he risked by ‘speculating’ about Putin’s hold on the president. Brennan’s public statements carry weight, and he was doing Putin’s bidding by driving divisive dialogue towards partisanship instead of helping to build consensus against Putin.”
The disagreement between Trump and Brennan also continued on Twitter, and Brennan posted this tweet on April 13, 2018.
Your kakistocracy is collapsing after its lamentable journey. As the greatest Nation history has known, we have the opportunity to emerge from this nightmare stronger & more committed to ensuring a better life for all Americans, including those you have so tragically deceived. https://t.co/eC6LATH2Gd
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 13, 2018
The argument reached new levels of absurdity when Trump posted the following tweet, which addressed his rising poll numbers and was not directed at John Brennan.
“Still Rising: Rasmussen Poll Shows Donald Trump Approval Ratings Now at 51 Percent” https://t.co/q80PaE0gQo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2018
Brennan was apparently highly offended by Trump celebrating a rise in the polls and responded with a tweet of his own.
I served 6 Presidents, 3 Rs & 3Ds. I directly supported Clinton, Bush 43, and Obama. While I didn’t agree with all their policy choices, I admired and respected all of them, as they put country above their personal interests. Not so with you, as your self adoration is disgraceful https://t.co/A1brb0HW3V
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 5, 2018
Even conservative pundit and Hollywood star James Woods got into the act with a tweet directed at Brennan’s outrage.
President Clinton had sex with an intern on the most famous desk in the world. I’d say that might be putting self-interest before country. https://t.co/aMshMHGtQG
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) April 17, 2018
While the war of words between Trump and Brennan continues, there is another CIA-related issue that might also be of interest to the American people. Gina Haspel’s nomination to become director of the CIA is lingering in the Senate, and America’s foremost foreign intelligence agency is still without a leader. What makes the matter unusual is the fact that former CIA Director Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, and former Deputy Director of the CIA Michael Morell, all of whom have mercilessly criticized President Trump, have all endorsed Ms. Haspel to become the next director of the CIA. As some might say, “that’s American politics for you.”