A former CIA station chief says that former CIA Director John Brennan “is doing Putin’s bidding” by publicly attacking and speculating about President Donald Trump.
In an article at Cipher Brief, a national security website, CIA veteran Daniel Hoffman says that Brennan’s recent remarks play right into Putin’s hands.
“As a former KGB officer and director of its successor, the FSB, Putin’s weapons of choice for this covert campaign are espionage, and influence operations that target our political differences to weaken and divide us,” writes Hoffman.
Hoffman, who spent five years working in Moscow, argues that Putin “knows what makes our society tick” and understands that “the best way to soil our democratic process is to link it with a touch of conspiracy, i.e. to the Kremlin.”
“He is acutely aware of the value to Russia of exacerbating the political tension that grips our country. Putin’s goal is to weaken our democratic institutions, including intelligence community agencies, which are responsible for countering Russia’s espionage onslaught on our country,” he writes.
Hoffman asserts that Brennan’s “cringe worthy” tweets and recent speculation that Putin is blackmailing Trump has added to the political polarization that Putin seeks. (RELATED: John Brennan Speculates That Putin Is Blackmailing Trump)
“I think he’s afraid of the Russian president,” Brennan said of Trump in a March interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“They may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult.”
Brennan has also aired his thoughts about Trump on Twitter.
“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history,” Brennan wrote in March in response to a Trump tweet about fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
“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,” writes Hoffman.
“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,” he continues.
Hoffman also argues that Brennan is fueling speculation that the Obama administration’s intelligence team unfairly targeted the Trump campaign and the Trump presidential transition team.
Trump and his supporters have questioned the CIA, FBI and Obama White House’s role in the early days of the Russia investigation. They have accused the FBI of improperly using the infamous Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Brennan’s role in the Russia investigation has also come under scrutiny from congressional investigators.
Congressional Republicans are interested in Brennan’s outreach to members of Congress in the early days of the Russia probe.
Brennan briefed members of the so-called Gang of Eight in late summer 2016 about Russian meddling in the presidential campaign. According to a book published in March, Harry Reid, a member of the Gang of Eight at the time, believed that Brennan had an ulterior motive during an Aug. 25, 2016, briefing with the Nevada Democrat. (RELATED: Congressional Investigators ‘Trying To Get To The Bottom’ Of John Brennan’s Role In Russia Investigation)
“Reid also had the impression that Brennan had an ulterior motive. He concluded the CIA chief believed the public needed to know about the Russian operation, including the information about the possible links to the Trump campaign,” reads “Russian Roulette,” a book by journalists Michael Isikoff and David Corn.