The Slatest

Former CIA Chief Brennan Blasts Trump: “Unstable, Inept, Inexperienced, and Also Unethical”

Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Brennan is discussing the extent of Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump.
Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former CIA chief John Brennan is worried. He used to be angry, but now more than anything he’s concerned about the future of the country because President Donald Trump’s overall incompetence at being commander in chief means there will be “rough waters ahead,” Brennan said in an interview with MSNBC. It’s not that Trump’s incompetence is surprising—far from it. “It is no secret to anybody that Donald Trump was very ill-prepared and unexperienced in terms of dealing with matters that a head of state needs to deal with, head of government, and I think this is now coming to roost,” Brennan said.

That dynamic has made Brennan worry, as he suggested Trump is just as unprepared for the challenges of leading the country as he was when he first moved into the White House. “There’s a part of me that had been very angry at Donald Trump for the things he said and things he did,” Brennan said. “I am now moving into the realm of deep worry and concern that our country needs strong leadership now.” But that is difficult to hope for “if we have someone in the Oval Office who is unstable, inept, inexperienced, and also unethical.”

The former CIA chief said he is baffled by Trump’s priorities. The president should really be focused on North Korea and Russia. But shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed his country would develop “invincible” missiles that would render NATO defenses “completely useless,” Trump decided to get into a Twitter fight against Alec Baldwin. “When I hear what Vladimir Putin was saying just yesterday about the nuclear capabilities he has, the president of the United States is tweeting about Alec Baldwin this morning, I mean, where is your sense of priorities?” Brennan said. “I think a lot of Americans are looking at what’s happening with a sense of, this is surreal.”

The former CIA head didn’t sound an optimistic tone, saying things are likely to get worse, at least in the short term. “The longer this goes on, the worse it’s going to get,” he said.