Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper threw former CIA Director John Brennan under the bus on Sunday, telling CNN's "State of the Union" that "John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself," adding "John is subtle like a freight train and he's gonna say what's on his mind."
Somebody wants to keep their security clearance...
Brennan's latest "rhetoric," of course, is his Sunday morning threat to sue the Trump administration following the stripping of his security clearance.
That said, Clapper empathized with Brennan over shared concerns regarding what they say is a threat to the United States from the Trump administration.
"I think that the common denominator among all of us [in the intelligence community] that have been speaking up … is genuine concern about the jeopardy and threats to our institutions," said Clapper.
Brennan's increasingly inflammatory commentary of late has also drawn the attention of Congressional GOP. On Thursday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) slammed Brennan for "purport[ing] to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power."
"If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the special counsel, not The New York Times," said Burr, who added that Trump had the "full authority" to rescind Brennan's clearance if the former CIA Director's statements were "purely politicial and based on conjecture."
President Trump promptly tweeted Burr's statement:
“Director Brennan’s recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan’s statement is based on intelligence he received while leading the CIA, why didn’t he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
.....released in 2017. If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach......” Richard Burr (R-NC) Senate Intel Cmte Chair @LouDobbs— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
On Friday's broadcast of MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Brennan defiantly stood behind his statement that Trump committed treason during the Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he called "nothing short of treasonous," before walking it back moments later.
"After Helsinki, you were stark, and even a little bit scary in your criticism of his behavior. You said it rose to treason," said Maddow.
"I said it was nothing short of treasonous," replied Brennan.
Maddow pushed back: "In this current controversy, that specific comment has been singled out by a number of people as a comment that maybe, by you, crossed the line, that was maybe –."
"Crossed what line?" Brennan responded.
Maddow said that she wasn't going to question Brennan's right to his remarks, though then asked "But do you stand by that consideration, and can you explain, can you elaborate what you mean by treasonous? It’s a very serious allegation."
Brennan answered: "I know what the Russians did in interfering in the election. I have 100% confidence in what they did. And for Mr. Trump to stand on that stage in Helsinki, with all the world’s eyes upon him, and to basically [say] he wouldn’t — he doesn’t understand why would the Russians interfere in the election. He’s given Mr. Putin and the Russians a pass time after time after time, and he keeps referring to this whole investigation as a witch hunt, as bogus, as — and to me, this was an attack against the foundational principle of our great republic, which is, the right of all Americans to choose their elected leaders. And for Mr. Trump to so cavalierly just dismiss that, yes, sometimes my Irish comes out, and — in my tweets, and I did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and is nothing short of treasonous. … I didn’t mean that he committed treason, but it was a term that I used, nothing short of treasonous."
Remember when John Brennan said Trump's behavior was "treasonous"? Turns out he didn't mean it: pic.twitter.com/PVm7mVkiJ5— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) August 18, 2018
Is Brennan starting to come apart at the seams.