Former CIA chief John Brennan hit back at Donald Trump on Sunday, saying the president should be "ashamed" after he attacked as "political hacks" the intelligence leaders who concluded Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election.
Brennan said Trump's inability to say unequivocally Russia interfered in the the USA election, and tell Russian President Vladimir Putin that there will be consequences if he attempts it again, is harming the US.
"If Donald Trump is under investigation and his administration and people around him, the Russian Federation collusion and whole Mueller investigation, right", he continued, "in simple terms the president would think it's probably not in my best self interest to be seen again sidling with Vladimir Putin, cozying up to Vladimir Putin and making lovey dovey eyes in these pictures we've been showing here. Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it". "To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country", Clapper added. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the allegations, and the president has said that he took him at his word.
James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, said on CNN's "State of the Union" last Sunday that the U.S. President is putting the country's national security at risk by not properly addressing Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
"He seems very susceptible to rolling out the red carpet and trappings and pomp and circumstance that come with the office", Brennan said.
Trump's own CIA Director Mike Pompeo and DNI Daniel Coats have both defended the assessment that the Kremlin interfered.
Trump walked back his comments Sunday after coming under fire from former intelligence officials.
"He said he didn't meddle", Trump told reporters on an Air Force One flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
"As now led, by fine people, I believe very much in our intelligence agencies", Trump said.