The Slatest

Brennan Says Trump is “Drunk on Power,” Trump Calls Him a “Loudmouth, Partisan, Political Hack”

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing on Marine One to travel to New York, at the White House on August 17, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing on Marine One to travel to New York, at the White House on August 17, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former CIA Director John Brennan gave his first sit-down television interview since President Donald Trump stripped his security clearance and said the commander in chief is “drunk on power” and could spark a tragedy for the country. “The fact that he’s using a security clearance of a former CIA director as a pawn in his public relations strategy I think is so reflective of somebody who, quite frankly—I don’t want to use this term maybe—but he’s drunk on power. He really. I think he’s abusing the powers of that office,” Brennan said on MSNBC.

Brennan’s interview came shortly after the Washington Post reported that Trump finally pulled the trigger on canceling his security clearance as a way to switch attention from former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. Other cancelations of security clearances are reportedly in the works with the idea that they will be released at times when the news cycle is working against the White House’s interests.

Brennan added that the move should be seen as a warning sign about what the commander in chief is capable of doing when he gets angry. “I think right now, this country is in a crisis in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is liable to do,” he said. The former CIA chief went on to question Republicans who are just sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to get worse. “Are the Republicans on the Hill who have given him a pass, are they going to wait for a disaster to happen before they actually find their backbones and spines to speak up against somebody who clearly, clearly is not carrying out his responsibilities with any sense of purpose and common sense from a standpoint of national security?”

When asked specifically what he thought Trump was capable of doing, Brennan raised the prospect of “something on the foreign front, in terms of some type of military adventure,” which he characterized as “wag the dog scenario” that could be used “as a way to distract attention.”

It seems Trump didn’t like Brennan’s comments one bit and harshly criticized the former CIA chief Saturday as part of an early morning tweetstorm. In his tweet, Trump wondered whether people had paid attention to the “mistakes” Brennan made while in office. “He will go down as easily the WORST in history & since getting out,” Trump wrote, “he has become nothing less than a loudmouth, partisan, political hack who cannot be trusted with the secrets to our country!”