(CNSNews.com) - Former CIA Director John Brennan is no supporter of President Donald Trump, but on one thing they agree: "We need to be ble to find a way to improve relations between Moscow and Washington," Brennan told CNN's "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper on Sunday.
In a series of three tweets on Saturday, President Trump said a "good relationship with Russia is a good thing."
"Met with President Putin of Russia who was at #APEC meetings. Good discussions on Syria. Hope for his help to solve, along with China the dangerous North Korea crisis. Progress being made," Trump tweeted.
And then two more tweets:
"When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!"
"Does the Fake News Media remember when Crooked Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was begging Russia to be our friend with the misspelled reset button? Obama tried also, but he had zero chemistry with Putin."
On Sunday, CNN's Tapper asked Brennan, "What messge do yo think President Trump is sendingto Vladimir Putin right now, in terms of Russia's continued attempts to interfere in elections in Europe and potentially in the United States again?"
"Well, I think what he's doing is saying to Vladimir Putin, we need to put this behind us, because there are important -- is important work to be done. And I agree," Brennan responded. "We need to be able to find a way to improve relations between Moscow and Washington.
"But I think what -- by not confronting the issue directly, and not acknowledging to Putin that we know that you're responsible for this, I think he's giving Putin a pass. And 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 to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint."
At a news conference in Vietnam, President Trump was asked to say whether he believes Russia interfered in the U.S. election:
During a press conference in Vietnam, the president was asked to clarify once and for all whether he believes Russia interfered in the U.S. election.
"I believe that he (Putin) feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election," Trump said. "As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, with their leadership. I believe in our intel agencies, our intelligence agencies. I have worked with them very strongly."
But earlier, in remarks on Air Force one, the president was quoted as saying that Brennan and other Obama appointees were "political hacks."
"So, you look at it, I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker. So, you look at that, and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that."
Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared together on CNN’s “State of the Union” to criticize Trump for fostering “ambiguity” about whether Russia interfered in the U.S. election.
“It’s still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it, and also push back hard against Mr. Putin,” Brennan said.
“The Russian threat to our democracy and our democratic foundations is real. And I think his continuing to not say very clearly and strongly that this is a national security problem, and to say to Mr. Putin, we know you did it, you would have to stop it, because there are going to be consequences if you don't.”
Clapper said, “Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy, and our whole process. And to try to paint it in any other -- any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country.”