Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan said the President-elect 'does not have a full appreciation and understanding of the implications.'
Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan blasted Donald Trump Sunday for discussing the possible easing of sanctions against Russia, saying the President-elect "does not have a full appreciation and understanding of the implications."
"Now that he's going to have an opportunity to do something for our national security as opposed to talking and tweeting, he's going to have tremendous responsibility to make sure that U.S. and national security interests are protected,'' Brennan said on "Fox News Sunday."
"I think he has to be mindful that he does not have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road,'' Brennan added.
"Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests,'' Brennan continued. "I think Mr. Trump has to understand that absolving Russia of various actions it has taken in the past number of years is a road that he needs to be very, very careful about moving down.''
Trump defense pick Mattis warns of 'grave concerns' over Russia
Trump lobbed the outgoing CIA chief with multiple allegations Sunday night, claiming Brennan is at fault for a laundry list of international instability — and leaking an unverified dossier.
“Oh, really, couldn’t do much worse — just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine,” Trump tweeted, adding on claims that Brennan allowed Russia to grow its nuclear arsenal.
He added one more allegation that Brennan may have shared the intelligence memo claiming Russia was blackmailing the President-elect with compromising information.
Throughout his campaign and since his victory, Trump has sent an unprecedentedly warm signal to Russia, praising President Vladimir Putin, rejecting overwhelming U.S. intelligence that elements aligned with the nation's government hacked high-level Democratic operatives to tilt the election for Trump and even suggested, in a Wall Street Journal interview published Friday, that he could ease sanctions imposed by President Obama as payback for the alleged election hacking.
Donald Trump's duty to get tough on Russia
Brennan also ripped Trump's critical comments of the intelligence community, which the mogul has suggested maliciously leaked an unverified document containing potentially damaging financial and personal information on Trump.
"The world is watching now what Trump says and listening very carefully. If he doesn't have confidence in the intelligence community, what signal does that send to our partners and allies as well as our adversaries?'' Brennan said.
But in a series of tweets Sunday, Trump continued railing against intelligence agencies.
"Thank you to Bob Woodward who said, 'That is a garbage document...it never should have been presented...Trump's right to be upset (angry)...about that...Those Intelligence chiefs made a mistake here, & when people make mistakes, they should APOLOGIZE.' Media should also apologize," Trump said in a pair of tweets.
Ex-British ambassador to Russia alerted US intel to Trump dossier
Meanwhile, questions have also arisen over whether Trump's team had been in contact with Russia during the campaign.
Vice president-elect Mike Pence denied Sunday the claim, telling "Fox News Sunday," "of course not," when asked.
"Why would there be any contacts between the campaign," he said. "This is all a distraction, and it's all part of a narrative to delegitimize the election."
Pence also rejected claims that retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser, was in contact with Russian officials about the sanctions Obama imposed — despite the fact that a Trump camp official said Friday that the transition team was aware a call between Flynn and Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29.
"I talked to General Flynn yesterday, and the conversations that took place at that time were not in any way related to new U.S. sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of diplomats," Pence said.
With News Wire Services
With NICOLE HENSLEYSend a Letter to the Editor
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