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‘Checkmate’: Senate intel chair puts John Brennan between a rock and a hard place after red-flag remarks

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Former CIA Director John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor and brutal critic of President Donald Trump, penned an op-ed run Thursday in the New York Times that accused the president of colluding with Russia.

Brennan, who was stripped of his security clearance this week by the White House, said Trump’s claims of there being no collusion were “hogwash” in an editorial that drew the attention of Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr.

And the North Carolina Republican’s put the former spy chief between a rock and a hard place with his response.

“Director Brennan’s recent statements purport to know, as fact, that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power,” Burr said in a statement.

He noted that if Brennan’s assertion of collusion is based on actual intelligence, he should have included it in the unclassified intelligence community assessment that was released in early 2017.

The assessment was released just before Brennan resigned.

“If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach,” Sen. Burr added. “If he has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times.”

He went on to conclude that if Brennan’s assertion “is purely political and based on conjecture, the president has full authority to revoke his security clearance as head of the Executive Branch.”


Burr’s release impressed President Trump, who tweeted a portion of the senator’s take late Thursday.



Here’s a sampling of reactions to Burr’s response from Twitter —  with the term “Checkmate” coming up more than once.


Tom Tillison


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