The Obama Administration’s CIA director, John Brennan, charged that President Trump’s post-summit press conference with Russia President Vladimir Putin was an act of treason.
“Donald Trump’s press performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,'” Brennan tweeted. “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???”
Moments after tweeting, Brennan appeared on MSNBC and demanded Trump cabinet officials resign in protest.
Here’s a transcript of his exchange with Brian Williams:
WILLIAMS: “We just read what you said on Twitter. Your reaction to what you’ve just seen?”
BRENNAN: “Well, Brian, I thought that there was nothing Donald Trump could say that would shock me, but I was wrong. I was just totally shocked at the performance of Donald Trump in Helsinki at a press conference with Vladimir Putin. I just found that it was outrageous. And even when the press — and thank goodness the press asked the right questions — even when the press gave him an opportunity to hold Russia accountable for anything, he chose to talk about Hillary Clinton, about his election, about servers. He criticized American citizens, Secretary Clinton and others as opposed to really taking advantage of a world stage, with all the world’s eyes upon them, to point out how unacceptable Russia’s behavior and interference in our election and the elections of other democratic countries around the globe is. But he just shirked those responsibilities. I cannot understand how the national security team can continue to abide by this and how Pompeo and Bolton and 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. I’m at a loss of words to describe just how outrageous his words, his statements, his behavior has been. And one can only conclude that he fears Vladimir Putin. And that one-on-one discussion, who knows what was discussed there. And how Mr. Putin now is the master puppeteer of Donald Trump, the person who is in our Oval Office. Outrageous.”
WILLIAMS: “I just saw a picture of Huntsman and Pompeo while the President was speaking, looking a bit stricken. But to your point about patriots, to your point about resignations, what do you think the practical impact, just say by the end of business today, tomorrow, will be?”
BRENNAN: “I don’t know. That’s why I said in my tweet Republican patriots all over the country, including in the Congress, where are you? When are you going to speak out and roundly condemn what Donald Trump is doing? And all of those good Americans who voted for Mr. Trump believing that he was going to protect this country, I think you have now his demonstrated unwillingness, maybe inability, to protect this country’s interests. I think this is a time for all Americans to rally and to say, ‘Mr. Trump, you are not doing what is necessary in order to keep this country strong and safe.’ And Mr. Putin must be now, with his team, just rejoicing in what has happened in Helsinki.”
In the past, Brennan has likened America under Trump to passing a “large and painful kidney stone.” Addressing his frequently hyperbolic tweets against President Trump, Brennan has said he has a “responsibility as an American citizen to speak up.”