Former CIA Director: ‘We Are Now In A Full-Blown National Security Crisis’
Former CIA Director John Brennan expressed great alarm over recent reports that intelligence officials briefed the House Intelligence Committee on Russia’s latest efforts to help President Donald Trump win re-election — as well as Trump’s reported desire to keep Congress from hearing about such threats.
The Week reported that Brennan tweeted his concern on Thursday, writing: “We are now in a full-blown national security crisis. By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s.”
A link to the New York Times report detailing Trump’s moves accompanied Brennan’s tweet.
In that report, The Times noted that the congressional briefing — held before the entire House Intelligence Committee, including Democrat and Republican members — was “delivered by Shelby Pierson, one of Maguire's aides known for her blunt delivery,” The Week reported.
Trump erupted at former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire over the briefing, citing his fear that Democrats would “weaponize” the information that Russia is looking to help him get re-elected, a source familiar with the meeting told The Times.
The president proceeded to replace Maguire with U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, who has a reputation as a staunch Trump ally and also has no real experience in intelligence.
The Washington Post noted that Grenell appears to share Trump’s skepticism of Russia’s role in the last election, downplaying the situation in a 2016 op-ed for Fox News.
“Russian or Russian-approved tactics like cyber warfare and campaigns of misinformation have been happening for decades,”Grenell wrote at the time.
He will now “oversee the intelligence community’s efforts to combat election interference and disinformation” until the president nominates a permanent replacement for the position, The Post noted.