CIA Director John Brennan blasted President-elect Donald Trump during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
The new back-and-forth continues the battle between Trump and the intelligence community, with Trump pointing the finger at agency officials for allegedly going behind his back and leaking information to the press about completely unverified, scandalous personal activities in Russia.
Brennan isn’t taking the finger-pointing from Trump lightly.
“What I do find outrageous is equating intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Brennan said. “I do take great umbrage with that and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly,” Brennan added.
Trump first alleged in a tweet Jan. 11 that the intelligence community’s supposed leaks of an anti-Trump-funded private intelligence dossier to the media are reminiscent of Nazi Germany. This 35-page report, published in full by BuzzFeed and widely reported on elsewhere, contains compromising personal and financial information on Trump. The report itself had been circulating among intelligence higher ups and investigative journalists for months. None could verify its veracity.
At a press conference that same day, Trump added more fuel to the fire.
“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” Trump said. “I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that … that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.”
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper spoke with Trump Wednesday evening and said he did not think the leaks came from inside the intelligence agencies. He released a statement condemning the leaks as “extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”
For Brennan, such blanket statements from Trump go too far and are unbecoming of an incoming president.
“He is going to be in a few days time the most powerful person in the world in terms of sitting on top of the United States government, and I think he has to recognize that his words do have impact,” Brennan said.
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