According to CNN, former U.S. intelligence chiefs John Brennan, Chuck Hagel, James Clapper, and Michael Hayden all condemned President Trump’s news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
After meeting with Putin for the very first time in Helsinki, the President publicly refused to endorse or affirm the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia did, in fact, meddle and interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Trump also went on to call Putin “extremely strong and powerful.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan referred to Trump’s participation in the conference as “nothing short of treasonous.”
A longtime critic of President Trump, Brennan tweeted Monday, “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you?”
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also criticized Trump for his behavior, claiming that he “failed America today.” Hagel also added, “I would not have said it the way John (Brennan) said it. John can say it the way he wants to say it. But as to impeachment, we’ll see how this plays out. That’s a congressional responsibility and the Congress must do what they think is in the best interest of this country.”
“This was not a golf outing,” Hagel continued, referring to Trump’s apparent lack of strategy. “This was not a real estate transactional kind of arrangement. Engagement must be connected to a strategic interest, a strategic purpose.”
“I don’t know what that strategic purpose was. I am now convinced we didn’t have one,” Hagel admitted, going on to claim that today is a “sad day” for both the United States and the world at large.
James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence under Obama, called the situation unbelievable and disturbing, saying, “On the world’s stage, in front of the entire globe, the President of the United States essentially capitulated and seems intimidate by Vladimir Putin. So it was amazing and very, very disturbing.”
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden also chimed in, voicing his disdain in one simple retweet. Hayden quoted Chuck Todd’s assertion that, “The president tries to pull a “both sides” on the Putin V US intel and ends up confessing to the world that he believes Putin more [than] the United States of America and its agencies,” simply responding with, “Yes he did.”
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