John Brennan Complains He's Being 'Pilloried As an Example of the Deep State'

By Susan Jones | October 7, 2019 | 8:41am EDT
Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during a House intelligence committee hearing on Russian actions during the 2016 election on May 23, 2017.(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

( - Republicans have questioned, and continue to question, whether the Obama intelligence community used foreigners -- from Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom -- to spy on the Trump campaign. Did they outsource spying, in other words.

That is part of what Connecticut Attorney General John Durham is investigating, at the request of Attorney General William Barr.

But in a very sympathetic interview with former CIA Director John Brennan, NBC's Chuck Todd never asked difficult questions about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and Brennan's possible role in it.

Instead, Todd told Brennan, "You have been completely character assassinated -- and eviscerated. And it doesn't matter whether the people like you or hate you, I think everybody can agree, you have been put through this. Do you understand how you got here?"

Brennan, a dedicated Trump hater, blamed Trump:

Well, I think it all goes back to Mr. Trump and his dishonesty and his complete obliteration of the norms of honesty in terms of his public statements. He was the one who started the birther conspiracy as far as Barack Obama was concerned. He has continued to fabricate information, and clearly Senator Johnson is running scared of Donald Trump as are the other Republican senators, because if they say anything against him, he comes after them with a vengeance.

So, he is the typical bully. And so now I have become, you know, being pillaried as an example of the deep state.

Todd followed up with more sympathy, telling Brennan, "People are criticizing you for speaking out now and for defending yourself." Todd then asked Brennan about the ability of the FBI and CIA to protect America, given all the criticism of those agencies, to which he responded:

Yeah, I struggle with what my public posture should be. What I don't want to do is put the CIA in a difficult positions. But I feel an obligation as a former senior U.S. official to call out Mr. Trump when he lies to the American public, when he totally fabricates information to just advance his own political agenda. So I am going to continue doing it, because people at this time, I think, really need to speak out and speak up. And it's clear that the Republicans in the Senate are just going along.

I've had many issues with the Democrat over the years, but I have never had -- seen anything like the Republicans right now as far as just misrepresentations of the truth, because of what Donald Trump has done.

Brennan said until senior Republican officials "push back against Trump, I think this is going to be a very, very long and difficult fight, because this dishonesty, this disinformation now is just overwhelming and inundating the air waves, whether it be social media platforms or a lot of the, you know, news networks, they continue to just to put out false information and it gains traction. I can understand how so many Americans, then, are confused."

(The public release of the Justice Department IG report on alleged FISA abuse and the findings of John Durham's investigation may settle some of that confusion.)

Todd told Brennan, "Many Americans are going to send me send emails going how you can put a traitor like John Brennan on television?"

Brennan responded that he feels "good" about his 33 years working in national security, and he repeated that "there is a lot of false information out there that now people take as gospel."

Todd also asked Brennan to comment on the political stability of the United States: "How would the CIA assess the stability of the American government right now, if it were assessing America as if it was another country?" Todd asked.

"We would look at it as a very corrupt government that is under the sway right now of this powerful individual who has been able to just corrupt the institutions and the laws of that country," Brennan responded.

"I think it's no longer a democracy if an autocrat has it in his hands. And people like (Sen. Ron) Johnson and others are putty in his hand, which means that the democratic principles upon which the country are found are eroding right now."

Brennan said "tremendous political instability" is "consuming" the U.S. government under Trump, "and it's not able to take care of the issues that it needs to address, whether it be on the domestic front or the national security -- or the foreign policy front. So, yes, I there is a real question about the stability."

Todd ended the interview by thanking Brennan for coming on the show. "I know that it means more attacks. So thanks," Todd told the former CIA director.


MRC Store