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‘Treasonous’ Trump creating political unrest in US: Brennan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo taken on May 23, 2017, former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing about Russian actions during the 2016 election on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Former CIA Director John Brennan has called US President Donald Trump “treasonous” and said he is creating political unrest in the United States that “could spill over into the streets.”

“Fundamentally, though, what he’s doing to this country, he’s dividing us…He’s dividing Americans," Brennan said of Trump during an interview on Friday night.

"So I’m really concerned that as he continues to play to his base, he’s further dividing us, and I’m really concerned about whether this could spill over into the streets,” he said.

Trump on August 15 removed the ability for the former CIA director to access sensitive government information, citing the Russia investigation as the reason behind the decision.

The White House statement slammed Brennan, citing “lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary” and his engagement in “highly partisan positions.”

Since then, Brennan and Trump have been engaged in back-and-forth attacks.

Brennan served as the director of the CIA from March 2013 to January 2017. Brennan's 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst, as station chief in Saudi Arabia, and as director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Brennan, who was also involved in the intelligence community assessment claiming Russia meddled in the 2016 election, said on Friday that he was concerned by Trump’s apparent refusal to talk to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the “meddling” at a summit in July.

“Treasonous is defined as a betrayal of trust as well as aiding and abetting the enemy, so that was the word that came to mind…This was an opportunity for Donald Trump to fulfill his responsibilities, to say, ‘Russia, cut this out, don’t do it again, and if you do it again, you’re going to pay a cost,’” Brennan said Friday.

A dozen former American intelligence leaders have criticized Trump for revoking security clearance of Brennan.

In a statement on August 17, twelve former CIA chiefs, representing previous Republican and Democratic administrations, denounced Trump’s move as "an attempt to stifle free speech.”

Brennan accused the president of revoking his security clearance as part of a “desperate” attempt to interfere with the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.     

Mueller, a former FBI director, has been running a high-profile investigation into allegations that Trump won the 2016 US presidential election against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton only because Moscow had rigged the election in his favor.

US intelligence agencies claim Russia-linked hackers provided WikiLeaks with damaging information -- in the form of thousands of hacked emails -- about Clinton to skew the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations that his campaign colluded with Russians and has condemned the investigations. Russian President Putin has also denied the allegations.


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