After outgoing CIA Director John Brennan suggested that Donald Trump didn’t understand the threats posed by Russia and suggested he watch his words, the president-elect struck back, questioning whether the intelligence chief might be the source of recently leaked information.
“I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions,” Brennan said on Fox News Sunday, cautioning that Trump also needs to understand the import of his words.
“If he doesn’t have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies, as well as our adversaries?” Brennan asked.
Trump responded with a characteristic angry tweet. “.@FoxNews ‘Outgoing CIA CIA Chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand.’ Oh really, couldn’t do…,” he tweeted. “Much worse – just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?”
Trump has repeatedly dismissed intelligence that found Russia interfered in the presidential election and more recently has taken issue with claims that the nation-state has gathered compromising information on the incoming president, questioning the intelligence community’s motivation.
“There is no interest in undermining the President-elect and the team coming in,” Brennan said Sunday. “It’s our responsibility to make sure they understand exactly the dangers that are out there.”