Former CIA chief questions US stability under Trump08 October 2019 AFP, Washington
Former CIA director John Brennan has accused President Donald Trump of eroding US democratic principles
Former CIA director John Brennan raised questions Sunday about the stability of the United States under President Donald Trump, accusing him of corrupting the country's laws and institutions.
Brennan, who served under former president Barack Obama and has been one of Trump's fiercest critics, warned in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" that "the democratic principles on which this country are founded are eroding right now."
Asked how the CIA might assess the stability of the United States, Brennan said, "We would look at it as a very corrupt government that is under the sway, right now, of this powerful individual who has been able to just corrupt the institutions and the laws of that country." "I think it's no longer, you know, a democracy if an autocrat is - has it in his hands," he said. Criticizing Republican lawmakers as "putty" to Trump, Brennan said, "Given the polarization of the country, as well, there's just tremendous political instability here, and which is consuming the government now."
"So yes, I think there's a real question about the stability," he said.
Brennan's comments come amid an intensifying impeachment investigation of Trump for alleged abuse of power that has sharply divided the Congress.
Trump stripped Brennan of his security clearance last year after he emerged as a vocal critic of the president for questioning the US intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia mounted a covert effort to sway the 2016 election in the Republican's favor. "Mr. Brennan's lying and recent conduct characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets and facilities," the president said in the statement read by Sanders.
Sanders said the White House will also consider whether to revoke security clearances of other former and current high-ranking law enforcement and intelligence officials - all of whom have earned Trump's ire in some way. Those are: former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, ex-NSA Director Michael Hayden, former national security advisor Susan Rice, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, ex-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.
In response, Brennan called the action "part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech" and "punish critics." He signaled that it would not stop him from criticizing the president.
"It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out. My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent," Brennan tweeted on Wednesday.