Former CIA Director John Brennan is sticking by his assertion that President Donald Trump’s behavior is “treasonous,” a comment Brennan made in July regarding Trump’s meeting in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
During NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked if Brennan regretted accusing the president of treason.
“I called his behavior treasonous, which is to betray one’s trust and to aid and abet the enemy,” Brennan responded. “And I stand very much by that claim.”
Todd pushed back, emphasizing that Brennan is not just a private citizen but the former head of America’s top intelligence organization.
“These are abnormal times,” Brennan said. “A lot of people have spoken out against what Mr. Trump has done.”
“I have seen the lights blinking red in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is doing,” he added. “And it’s bringing this country down on the global stage. He’s fueling and feeding divisiveness in our country.”
Earlier in the interview, Brennan said Trump’s revocation of his security clearance is another example of the president’s abuse of authority. While Trump may have the power to do such a thing, the former CIA chief said, that doesn’t mean he’s doing it for the right reasons.
“If you cross him, if you speak out against him, he is going to use whatever tools he might have at his disposal to punish you,” Brennan said.
Several former defense and intelligence officials have come to Brennan’s defense in recent days, with retired Adm. Mike Mullen comparing Trump’s threats to revoke more former officials’ clearances to the enemies lists of former President Richard Nixon and red-baiting Sen. Joe McCarthy.