Two former top Intelligence officials have blasted President Donald Trump for showing disrespect for intelligence officials and and his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The officials said Trump was endangering U.S. national security.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA director John Brennan, also strongly defended their response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“I think we did pretty damn well…. there was no playbook for this,” Brennan said
Brennan added that he was hard on his Russian counterpart in a phone call last summer warning the Russians to stop interfering in the election.
“This is uncharted seas that we were trying to navigate,” Clapper added.
Both men spoke before an audience of insiders panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.
Brennan said that Trump’s actions on the world stage had raised “serious questions about how he is keeping safe our national security. “
“I was particularly distressed by, when in a foreign country Poland, he’s disparaging his own intelligence community, which, to me, put him at a great disadvantage in the run up to the meeting with President Putin,” Clapper said.
Brennan said it was disappointing to hear Trump say it was a “great honour” to meet Putin.
“For a person who supposedly knows the art of the deal, I thought it was a very bad negotiating tactic and I felt that it was not the honorable thing to say,” Brennan said.
Both men criticized Trump’s after dinner conversation with Putin in Hamburg—joined only by a Kremlin translator. Clapper called that “very dangerous,” warning of the risk of miscommunication.
“Quite frankly I think there are concerns that sometimes what Mr. Trump says happens is not exactly what happens,” Brennan said.
“I think it just raises again concerns about what else may be going on between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin that is being held behind closed doors and outside of public view.”