Brennan: I didn't mean that Trump committed treason when I said his actions are 'nothing short of treasonous'
A "clarification" from former CIA director John Brennan. He called Trump's performance during a press conference with Vladimir Putin "nothing short of treason" but now claims he didn't mean that Trump committed treason.
Glad we got that cleared up, John.
Brennan clarified the comment during an interview Friday, after MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said Brennan said the press conference "rose to treason."
The former CIA director disputed the characterization of his "treason" tweet, saying that he felt compelled to make the comment after Trump sided with Putin's denials of Russia's election interference.
"And for Mr. Trump to so cavalierly so dismiss that, yes, sometimes my Irish comes out and in my tweets," Brennan said. "And I did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and nothing short of treasonous, because he had the opportunity there to be able to say to the world that this is something that happened."
"And that's why I said it was nothing short of treasonous. I didn't mean that he committed treason. But it was a term that I used, nothing short of treasonous," he said.
Mmmkay. Even Rachel Maddow was incredulous.
Maddow then pressed Brennan on his use of the term, noting that saying "nothing short of treasonous means it's treason."
She then asked Brennan if he believes that Trump is "serving a foreign country rather than our own."
"Well, yes," he replied. "I think he has crossed the line repeatedly in terms of his failure to fulfill the responsibility of the office. And to look Putin square in the eye and say, this should never, ever happen again."
Brennan's tweet about Trump's behavior at the press conference made national headlines, as Trump faced widespread criticism for his remarks. The president later walked back his comments about Russia's role in election interference, claiming that he misspoke.
Plain English is apparently a second language for Brennan.
Former DNI James Clapper thinks Brennan's "rhetoric" is becoming an issue "in and of itself."
"John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself," Clapper said on CNN's "State of the Union." "John is subtle like a freight train and he's gonna say what's on his mind."
Clapper's comments came in response to an op-ed penned by Brennan in The New York Times this week, in which he wrote that President Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Clapper said he empathized with Brennan, but voiced concerns for Brennan's fiery rhetoric toward Trump and his administration.
"I think that the common denominator among all of us [in the intelligence community] that have been speaking up … is genuine concern about the jeopardy and threats to our institutions," Clapper said.
Senate intel committee chair Richard Burr points out the obvious:
Brennan's claims drew criticism from some in the intelligence community who said the timing was suspect.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Thursday took aim at Brennan for "purport[ing] to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power."
"If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach. If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the special counsel, not The New York Times," Burr said.
Yes, but Brennan wouldn't see his name in Times if he did the ordinary, boring thing of telling the special counsel. And if he did disclose intelligence he's seen since leaving office, wouldn't that be reason enough to yank his security clearance?
Brennan is unhinged with Trump-hate. His wild, unsubstantiated charges of collusion notwithstanding, his running off at the mouth is embarrassing himself and the Intelligence Community.