Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Former CIA Director: Foreign Leaders Manipulating Trump's Insecurities Is National Security Issue

Trump Putin Russian election meddling newday_00000000 CIA director stands by intel community assessment Russia meddled in election
Velma Reese | 12 November, 2017, 21:52

CIA Director Mike Pompeo stands by United States intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, the agency said Saturday, despite President Donald Trump saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says his country didn't interfere.

But he again stopped short of stating explicitly that Russian Federation was behind the interference in the 2016 presidential election, which U.S. intelligence has determined was conducted to help Trump.

The agency said it would have no further comment.

"I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election", Trump said.

Brennan fired back at the president's claims that he, Clapper, and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey were "political hacks". Comey's proven now to be a liar, and he's proven to be a leaker, so you look at that.

On Twitter, the United States president described the conversation with Putin as good and condemned all who criticized his efforts to improve relations with Russian Federation as haters and fools.

"POTUS embraces Putin yet again telling world he believes former KGB agent's denial of attack on our election over our own Intel public servants, calling them 'political hacks.' Disturbing and shamelessly unpatriotic, on Veterans Day no less", she tweeted on Saturday following Trump's comments.

"He said he didn't meddle".

Clapper concurred, saying, "I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him".

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Since leaving government, Clapper said more information had come out that raises at least "circumstantial questions" about potential connections between Trump's associates and Russian Federation.

That wasn't the first time Trump accepted Putin's account about election interference.

"I think the intelligence community, law enforcement, have their counterintelligence antennae up all of the time, and i think we did a pretty admirable job", Brennan said. "And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it". "I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint".

His remarks, which came near the end of Trump's marathon swing through Asia, amounted to the clearest statement yet of Trump's views about last year's election meddling issue.

But Trump had already relayed Putin's reaction to the US intelligence community's conclusions on Russian interference, CNN's Tapper pointed out Sunday, and further noted that the Russian president was insulted by this conclusion.

"He was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to delegitimize the intelligence community assessment", Brennan said.

To make things worse, Trump also stated that he believed Putin was honest when denying all allegations to the effect that he had orchestrated the Russian interference.

Trump's refusal to hold Putin accountable for Russia's interference in the election baffled Clapper, who noted that the evidence presented by the U.S intelligence community in January reinforced "the depth and magnitude and scope and the aggressiveness of the Russian interference".

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