In response to Trump's defense of Putin for saying he didn't interfere in the 2016 election and dismissing US intelligence heads as "political hacks," former CIA Chief John Brennan told CNN's Jake Tapper that he viewed it as a "badge of honor."
U.S. intelligence agencies--all of them, unanimously--have confirmed that Russia hacked its way and meddled in the U.S. election cycle in 2016, but during his Asia trip, Trump twisted into a pretzel defending Putin, who he says told him he didn't do anything wrong.
Our supposed tough-talking president appears to be afraid to confront Putin directly on this extremely important issue.
On CNN's State of the Union host Jake Tapper asked Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about Trump's harsh words.
Tapper asked, "The president also called both of and you FBI Director Comey 'political hacks'. All three of you worked in senior levels in the Obama administration, although you also worked during the Bush administration. How do you respond to the charge?"
Brennan said, "Well, first of all, he was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to delegitimize the intelligence community assessment that was done. Jim Clapper, Jim Comey and John Brennan did not write that assessment."
He continued, "Secondly, I feel very honored to be associated with Jim Clapper and Jim Comey in the same category. And considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor."
Brennan was particularly critical of Trump because James Clapper is a veteran and served in uniform for 35 years.
"And to impugn the character of somebody like Jim Clapper on Veterans Day, who has dedicated so much of his life to this country, I just find that outrageous, and it's something that I -- I think that Mr. Trump should be ashamed of, but it doesn't seem as though anything he does, he feels any shame whatsoever," he said.