Former CIA Director John Brennan stated that President Donald Trump committed “treasonous” acts during his news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland.
He also called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign, apparently in response to Trump not condemning Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. elections.
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors,'” Brennan tweeted.
The former Obama administration official continued, “It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides, “The President…shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
In an interview on MSNBC, following Monday’s joint Trump-Putin news conference, Brennan said, “I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this and how Mike Pompeo and Bolton and John Kelly can continue in their jobs.”
“This, I think, rises to the point of good American patriots resigning in objection to that performance by Donald Trump,” said Brennan, an MSNBC analyst.
When asked if he would denounce Putin, Trump said, “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today and what he did is an incredible offer.”
In response to the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Putin stated his willingness to allow U.S. law enforcement to interface directly with their Russian counterparts to investigate the matter.
Trump also said he wants to know what happened to the Democratic National Committee’s server that was allegedly hacked into by Russians, according to the indictments.
“I want to know where is the server?” he said. “I want to know what is the server saying.”
“Why was the FBI asked to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee?” Trump questioned. “I’ve been asking that for months and months.”
The president clearly sees special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe as a means for Democrats to delegitimize his election victory over Clinton.
“That was a clean campaign,” Trump said. “I beat Hillary Clinton easily, and frankly we beat her. We won that race and it’s a shame that there can even be a little bit of a cloud over it. The main thing and we discussed this also: zero collusion.”
Trump tweeted earlier on Monday, “President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!”
President Obama thought that Crooked Hillary was going to win the election, so when he was informed by the FBI about Russian Meddling, he said it couldn’t happen, was no big deal, & did NOTHING about it. When I won it became a big deal and the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by Strzok!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 16, 2018
Frequent Trump critic Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain joined Brennan in condemning Trump.
Today’s press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 16, 2018
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory,” McCain said in a statement. “The damage inflicted by Pres. Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., cast doubt on Brennan’s assessment, telling Fox News he was a “disaster’ as CIA director.
“He was a member of the Communist Party during the Cold War,” DeSantis said. “So this is not exactly the guy I would listen to about Russia.”
Fox reported that Brennan has admitted to voting for Gus Hall, the Communist Party USA presidential candidate, in 1976.
“(Trump’s) administration has been tougher on Russia than Obama,” DeSantis said. “He’s got a story to tell and I think that he should try to do that.”
While the former CIA chief tweeted that Trump is “wholly in the pocket of Putin,” the president has taken a much stronger stance toward Russia than Brennan’s former boss did.
Trump is providing heavy military weaponry to the Ukraine, so the nation can better defend itself against Russia, which is something Obama refused to do.
The U.S. leader has also pushed member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to increase military expenditures, pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, chastised Germany for a natural gas pipeline deal with Russia, and ordered military strikes against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad, all clearly contrary Putin’s wishes too.
Obama was famously caught on a hot mic in March 2012 telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” regarding the issue of the placement of anti-missile defense in Eastern Europe, saying, “This is my last election.”
“I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev responded.
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