Former CIA Director John Brennan blasted comments made by President Trump during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity Thursday night, calling them “sociopathic ramblings.”
“I don’t think it’s surprising at all that we continue to hear the sociopathic ramblings of Mr. Trump claiming that there was this effort to try to prevent him from being elected or to unseat him,” Brennan said during an interview on MSNBC, Friday.
Trump had singled out Brennan for special scorn during his phone interview with Hannity and called the FBI’s investigation into his campaign an “attempted overthrow” of a U.S. election.
“This was a coup, this was an attempted overthrow of the United States government,” said Trump. “These are sick, sick people… Let’s see how high it goes up because it’s inconceivable when it goes to [former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper, Brennan, [former FBI Director James] Comey, these people, I would imagine some other people maybe higher up also knew about it.”
Brennan pretended to be unbothered by Trump’s remarks. “I welcome any kind of continued investigation in terms of what we did during that period of time that we were in government,” he said nonchalantly.
“I testified in front of Congress,” said Brennan, adding that he’d “absolutely” be willing to testify again.
The former spook also pushed back on allegations leveled by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that he had “insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the intelligence report” on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Legendary journalist Bob Woodward echoed those same accusations during an appearance on Fox News earlier this month.
“Rand Paul and others make these very specious allegations that have no basis in truth,” Brennan complained. “But they put it into the bloodstream and then, unfortunately, certain networks will propagate that.”
Here is the Rand Paul tweet that so angered Brennan:
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 27, 2019
“That’s absolutely incorrect and 180 degrees from the truth,” Brennan declared. “It was CIA that was pushing not to have it included, not to have it taken into account at all in that intelligence community assessment,” he added.
“This was something that Jim Comey and the FBI thought it was appropriate that Mr. Trump, who was going to become the president of the United States, would be aware of this report that is circulating and how it could be exploited by the Russians or others to try to undermine this government,” he explained.
What Brennan forgot to mention was that Comey’s briefing of the president was then leaked to CNN and served as the “trigger” for the salacious and unsubstantiated claims in the dossier to “put it into the bloodstream” of the nation, to use the former CIA director’s apt phrase.
CNN on January 10, 2017, was the first to report that salacious material from the dirty dossier had been presented during classified briefings to Trump and then-President Barack Obama. Soon after, BuzzFeed published the entire dossier on its website.
Until then, most news agencies worldwide had avoided publishing any of the dossier’s unverified claims, although they had been circulating for months.