by WorldTribune Staff, January 16, 2017
The feud between President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama’s intelligence agencies escalated last week when Trump asked if CIA Director John Brennan was behind the leak of an unverified dossier on the president-elect.
Hours after Brennan bashed Trump in an interview with Fox News, the president-elect responded by suggesting that the CIA director, on his way out the door, may have been behind the publication last week of unverified and salacious intelligence connecting Trump to Russia.
Trump tweeted: @FoxNews “Outgoing CIA Chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand.” Oh really, couldn’t do… much worse – just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?
Brennan told Fox News that Trump doesn’t seem to understand the threat Russia poses to the U.S.
“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,” the CIA chief said.
“Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests and so therefore when he speaks or when he reacts, just make sure he understands that the implications and impact on the United States could be profound.”
Brennan also questioned Trump’s public dressing down of the United States’ own intelligence agencies.
“The world is watching now what Trump says and listening very carefully,” Brennan said. “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? There is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for ‘leaking’ information that was already available publicly.”
The day after the dossier’s contents were published by BuzzFeed, Trump posted on Twitter that intelligence agencies “should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ ” before asking “are we living in Nazi Germany?”
No president since John F. Kennedy has dared to take on the CIA or the rest of the national security establishment, said Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, in a Jan. 10 commentary.
Chief executives “knew that if they opposed the national-security establishment at a fundamental level, they would be subjected to retaliatory measures.
“Kennedy… After the Bay of Pigs, he vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds. He also fired CIA Director Allen Dulles, who, in a rather unusual twist of fate, would later be appointed to the Warren Commission to investigate Kennedy’s murder,” Hornberger wrote.
“Kennedy’s antipathy toward the CIA gradually extended to what President Eisenhower had termed the military-industrial complex, especially when it proposed Operation Northwoods, which called for fraudulent terrorist attacks to serve as a pretext for invading Cuba, and when it suggested that Kennedy initiate a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.
“Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, [Kennedy] initiated secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, both of whom, by this time, were on the same page as Kennedy.
“Kennedy was fully aware of the danger he faced by taking on such a formidable enemy.”