Two former top U.S. intelligence officials CIA Director John Brennan and James Clapper, former director of national intelligence on Sunday told CNN that President Donald Trump’s refusal to agree that Russian meddling in the 2016 election “poses a peril to this country.”
“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.”
when reporters asked Trump if he discussed Russian interference with Putin while meeting at the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.
Trump said “He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did,”
“Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’”
In response to Trump’s obvious weak defense, Brennan said ; “I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump’s interest in being flattered,”
“And, also, I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do, or what might come out as a result of these investigations. So, it’s very worrisome. And I think it sends a worrisome, very disturbing signal to our allies and partners who are concerned about Russian interference in their democratic processes as well. So, it’s either naivete, ignorance or fear, in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-a-vis the Russians.”