'Putin, now, is the master puppeteer of Donald Trump, the person who is in our Oval Office.'
Minutes after Trump shocked the world by slamming America's investigation into Russia's election crimes while standing right next to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, former CIA chief John Brennan blasted Trump's performance as "treasonous" and called out Republicans who stand by and do nothing.
"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors.' It was nothing short of treasonous," Brennan wrote on Twitter almost immediately following Trump's remarks. "Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???"
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Minutes later, Brennan called in to MSNBC to elaborate on his comments and express his "shock" at Trump's remarks.
"I thought that there was nothing that Donald Trump could say that would shock me, but I was wrong," Brennan said. "I was just totally shocked ... even when the press gave him an opportunity to hold Russia accountable, for anything, he chose to talk about Hillary Clinton, about the election, about servers."
According to Brennan, Trump's performance proves that "Putin, now, is the master puppeteer of Donald Trump, the person who is in our Oval Office."
Brennan also argued that Trump's national security team — including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, and White House chief of staff John Kelly — should resign in objection.
"I just — I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this, and how Pompeo, and Bolton and Kelly can continue in their jobs," Brennan said. "This, I think, rises to the point of good American patriots resigning in objection to that performance by Donald Trump."
Trump officials often look visibly uncomfortable when Trump embarrasses America on the world stage — but so far, none have resigned over it.
Similarly, elected Republicans have stood by Trump through every humiliation and outrage imaginable. At best, they remain silent; at worst, they actively encourage Trump's reckless disregard for American values.
Only time will tell if Trump's wholesale capitulation to Vladimir Putin, in full view of the entire world, is finally enough to push Republicans into action.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.