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Two former intelligence chiefs blast Trump over Russian Federation comments

Two former intelligence chiefs blast Trump over Russian Federation comments

Update 12:55pm CT, Nov. 11: The CIA released a statement in response to Trump's claims, saying that Director Mike Pompeo stands by the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo stands by USA intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, the agency said Saturday, despite President Donald Trump saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says his country didn't interfere.

"By not confronting the issue directly, and not acknowledging to Putin that we know that you're responsible for this, I think he's giving Putin a pass", former CIA Director John Brennan told CNN.

"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 something that, I think that Mr. Trump should be ashamed of".

In response, Brennan said Trump is perhaps being manipulated by Putin. I just asked him again.

Brennan said Putin's apparent success with Trump was due to his use of flattery and Brennan's suspicion that Trump "for whatever reason" might be "intimidated" by Putin.

"I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump's interest in being flattered", Brennan said.

Trump spoke to Putin three times on the sidelines of summit here, where the Russian Federation meddling issue arose.

The President stressed he was not accepting Putin's denials at face value, instead saying he merely believed Putin was being genuine.

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The president said after the informal meeting with Putin that he would no longer press the Russian president on the issue of alleged election interference, stating: "Every time he sees me he says, 'I didn't do that, ' and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it".

Brennan told CNN host Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday that USA intelligence agencies - particularly the CIA, NSA, and Federal Bureau of Investigation, which are responsible for counterintelligence and analyzing Russia's threat - have seen clear evidence that Russian Federation meddled in the election.

"The president called the both of you and [former] FBI Director James Comey political hacks", Tapper stated.

Trump's refusal to hold Putin accountable for Russia's interference in the election baffled Clapper, who noted that the evidence presented by the U.S intelligence community in January reinforced "the depth and magnitude and scope and the aggressiveness of the Russian interference". Putin denies the accusations, and Trump has wavered publicly on his own stance.

"Considering the source of the criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor", Brennan told CNN's State of the Union, where he appeared alongside former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

"First of all, he was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to delegitimize the assessment done".

The Obama-era Central Intelligence Agency chief added that he took the criticism from Trump with pride.

"And our president fosters that ambiguity", he said. "He said he didn't meddle", Trump said, referring to Putin.


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