Brennan hits back at Trump and calls denials of Russian collusion 'hogwash'

Erika Holt
August 17, 2018

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., argued that Brennan's own rhetoric in criticizing Trump had cheapened the status of intelligence agencies.

While Trump has repeatedly insisted there was "no collusion", Brennan wrote that the "only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of "Trump Incorporated" attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets".

On Thursday's episode of CNN's the Lead, anchor Jake Tapper observed that despite President Donald Trump's antipathy toward what he calls a "rigged witch hunt", the president is inadvertently aiding the Russian Federation probe.

The administration has offered conflicting explanations for the president's unusual decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance. "And these people led it!" He also wrote: "Mr Trump's claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash".

It was a swift departure from the official explanation given by the White House on Wednesday, which cited "the risks" posed by what Trump labelled Brennan's "erratic conduct and behaviour". "I think it's something that had to be done", he told the Journal.

He had high hopes for Trump as president, he writes, but he has been let down.

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There was no reference to the Russian Federation probe in a White House statement Wednesday that was read at a press briefing and then sent out to reporters.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, says Trump's move is a "stunning abuse of power".

In the Journal interview, Trump said he was prepared to yank Brennan's clearance last week, but that it was too "hectic".

Brennan called Trump's behavior at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin "nothing short of treasonous".

Trump pulled Brennan's security clearance on Wednesday because of his "lying", "frenzied commentary" and "wild outbursts on the Internet and television", according to a statement read during Wednesday's White House news briefing by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Other names on that list include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, and many others.

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