ibusinesslines.com March 23, 2018

Two former intelligence chiefs blast Trump over Russian Federation comments

12 November 2017, 09:48 | Justin Tyler

CIA director stands by intel community assessment Russia meddled in election

Trump Putin Russian election meddling newday_00000000

Trump has long said he is seeking friendly relations with Putin and Russian Federation.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper listens to remarks as he testifies during a House Appropriations hearing on "World Wide Threats" on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. February 25. Well, it's three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. They're political hacks. So you look at it - I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey.

"It's very clear that the Russians interfered in the election and it's still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that, embrace it and also push back hard against Mr. Putin", he said.

Brennan blasted Trump Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" for attempting to downplay the conclusions reached by the US intelligence community, namely that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election for the goal of backing Trump. "And to impugn Jim Clapper on Veterans Day, who has dedicated so much of his life to this country, I just find that outrageous, and I think it's something Mr. Trump should be ashamed of, but it doesn't seem as though in anything he does he feels any shame whatsoever".

There, Putin also denied Russia's efforts to interfere in the election, and Trump reportedly took it at face value.

Trump has repeatedly questioned the conclusion of top intelligence agencies that Russian Federation conducted a sophisticated effort to tip last year's election in Trump's favor.

Brennan also fired back on Sunday against Trump's criticisms of him, Clapper, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey as "political hacks".

"Considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor", Brennan said.

"Well, I think we were prepared", Brennan said, going on to say he believed the pushback against the Russians at the time impressed upon them there would be "very serious consequences". "As to whether I believe it or not, I am with our agencies, especially as now constituted with the leadership".

"I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump's interest in being flattered".

Brennan said Putin's apparent success with Trump was due to his use of flattery and Brennan's suspicion that Trump "for whatever reason" might be "intimidated" by Putin.

Following comments from Brennan and Clapper, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin came on CNN to protest their characterization of Trump. "So it's very worrisome", said Brennan.

Clapper acknowledged the detrimental effect of Trump's continued attacks on the USA intelligence community, but he said the intelligence community would forge ahead regardless.

"The director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment entitled: 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.' The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed".

"I do believe in my heart that the men and women of the intelligence community will continue to convey truth to power, even if the power ignores the truth", said Clapper.

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