Former CIA director John Brennan spoke for the first time on TV after Donald Trump yanked his security clearance to tell Rachel Maddow Friday that the president is “drunk on power” — and capable of triggering a disaster.
“The fact that he’s using a security clearance of a former CIA director as a pawn in his public relations strategy I think is so reflective of somebody who is drunk on power. I think he’s abusing the powers of that office,” Brennan said on MSNBC.
Brennan said he believes the nation is “in a crisis in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is liable to do.” He noted earlier: “These are very frightening times.”
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He asked: “Are the Republicans on the Hill who have given him a pass — are they going to wait for a disaster to happen before they actually find their backbones and spines to speak up against somebody who clearly, clearly, is not carrying out his responsibilities with any sense of purpose and common sense from the standpoint of national security?”
Brennan talked extensively about Trump and Russia. He warned that Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election “did not stop with election day.” He said there was something “disconcerting” about Trump’s “obsequiousness” to Russia.
An emotional Brennan also bashed Trump for “trashing the reputation of the country worldwide.” He criticized the president’s shocking “divisiveness, the incitement, the fueling of hatred and polarization. This is not what this country is about,” he added.
Trump stripped Brennan’s security clearance on Wednesday because he exhibited “erratic conduct,” said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The Washington Post reported that Trump took action this week against Brennan to distract attention away from the bombshell claims against the president from former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman. Brennan wondered if Trump might one day launch an unnecessary military action to draw attention away from some other political problem.
Watch the rest of Brennan’s interview in the video above. He has a lot to say.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.