John Brennan warns that Trump's attempts at a cover-up could compromise American national security.
Former CIA Director John Brennan warns that Trump is compromising intelligence sources and methods in a way "that could harm this country for years to come."
Brennan, who served as CIA head from 2013 to 2017, gave his warning Friday on MSNBC's "All-In with Chris Hayes," where he addressed plans underway by Attorney General William Barr to investigate one of Trump's favorite conspiracy theories.
"I am deeply, deeply concerned about what is going on right now," Brennan said. "Mr. Trump is authorizing what appears to be his personal attorney to pursue these efforts inside of the intelligence community agencies."
Allowing Barr to selectively declassify information that could back up Trump's conspiracy theory "could in fact put people's lives in great jeopardy as well as put very sensitive and very exquisite U.S. intelligence capabilities at risk," Brennan said.
Barr has indeed been widely criticized for acting more like Trump's personal attorney than the nation's attorney general — and Trump recently gave Barr wide-ranging powers to declassify material as part of his new "investigation" into how federal investigations into the 2016 Trump campaign got started.
Trump baselessly insists that his campaign was subject to illegal "spying" and that the probe was started for political reasons. In fact, however, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation based on real, troubling evidence that Russia was seeking to influence both Trump and the election itself.
Brennan further argued that "the Senate Intelligence and the House Intelligence committees really need to exert their appropriate authority and to stop any reckless and irresponsible release of information that could harm this country for years to come."
Brennan also called on current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and CIA Director Gina Haspel to "stand up" against what he called an "unprecedented act on the part of Mr. Trump, who doesn't understand nor care about the national security concerns of the intelligence community."
In a separate interview on CNN, former director of national intelligence James Clapper slammed Trump's actions, pointing out that exposing sources and methods could put "people's lives at risk."
Trump has repeatedly lashed out at Brennan and Clapper after the former officials criticized his frequent abuses of power. In August, Trump revoked both men's security clearance.
Trump's attempts to weaponize classified intelligence against his domestic political opponents puts American spies at risk, and their former bosses will not remain silent.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.