Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Owen Brennan jumped to the defense of his former U.S. intelligence colleague and highly decorated war veteran James R. Clapper, Jr., former Director of National Intelligence, in an interview following U.S. President Donald Trump's stinging reference to the top former intelligence officials - including former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) James Comey - as "political hacks". "Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it".
On CNN, Brennan said he wasn't sure why Trump is waffling on Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
For Brennan, such flip-flops by Trump on whether Russian Federation did or did not intervene are a function of foreign leaders playing Trump's ego and insecurities.
"I think it's very naive and in fact perilous to this country to make an assumption that Russian Federation is going to behave with the best interest of the world or certainly the United States". They're political hacks. So you look at it - I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey.More news: Prime Minister Modi to meet India U17 World Cup team on Friday
That wasn't the first time Trump accepted Putin's account about election interference.
He also asked Putin again whether Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.
They also defended each other. "I think he's very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country".
Brennan added: "I think he's giving Putin a pass".
But Trump had already relayed Putin's reaction to the US intelligence community's conclusions on Russian interference, CNN's Tapper pointed out Sunday, and further noted that the Russian president was insulted by this conclusion. A special counsel and several congressional committees are investigating whether his campaign colluded with Moscow. "Comey is proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker", Trump told the reporters on Air Force One, referring to former FBI Director James Comey whom he fired last May.More news: Apex court refuses plea to ban release of 'Padmavati'
Trump's attacks on Clapper, Comey and Brennan as "political hacks" are part of his effort to delegitimize the intelligence community's assessment, said Brennan.
Secondly, I feel very honored to be associated with Jim Clapper and Jim Comey in the same category and, considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor.
He also slammed Trump for attacking Clapper, who served in the military for 35 years, on Veteran's Day. "Who responded to the call of his country to go to Vietnam, flew in over 70 combat support missions over Vietnam", Brennan continued".
"I think it's something Mr. Trump should be ashamed of", he added.
Clapper said a joint statement put out last October with then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson about what the Russians were doing was "emasculated" by the publication of the "Access Hollywood" tape of Trump making crude sexual remarks in 2005.More news: Marquez storms towards title with Valencia pole
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