Jake Tapper throws cold water on new Russian meddling report pushed by Brennan, Hillary Clinton

(Image: MSNBC screenshot)

Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan accused President Trump of “abetting a Russian covert operation” to secure his election as he pushed the latest intelligence leak in a new report.

“We are now in a full-blown national security crisis,” Brennan tweeted Thursday, linking to a report in The New York Times claiming intelligence officials warned House Intelligence Committee members last week that Russia is actively working to get Trump reelected by meddling in the 2020 presidential campaign.

“By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s,” Brennan declared.

The New York Times cited “five people familiar with the matter” in the report which claimed lawmakers were alerted to the alleged Russian interference by an aide to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

According to The Times:

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that Trump has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.

 

Trump announced Wednesday that Maguire will be replaced by U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell.

Many of Trump’s critics, including the liberal media, were quick to seize on the vague report and echo Brennan’s alarm.

“Putin’s Puppet is at it again, taking Russian help for himself,” failed 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted, also responding to the leaked intelligence in the report.

But the president slammed the claims as “another misinformation campaign” by Democrats and calling it “Hoax number 7.”

Even CNN anchor Jake Tapper questioned the validity of the report in a series of tweets on Friday.

Tapper noted in following tweets that the information “may have been mischaracterized” by Shelby Pierson, one of Maguire’s aides, at the House Intel briefing last week.

Tapper concluded that “there seems to be more to this particular story.”

CBS Senior Investigative Correspondent Catherine Herridge also doused the report with cold water:

Others also slammed the leaked story.

Meanwhile, Brennan encouraged “intimidated” members of the intelligence community to stay strong against Trump’s latest staff shake-up.

“I’m hoping that the intelligence professionals are going to continue to do their best to provide the intelligence and the analysis that the executive branch, as well as legislative branch, needs,” Brennan told MSNBC on Friday.


(Source: MSNBC)

“They need to try to do it despite the headwinds they’re feeling coming from the White House. A lot of these individuals, I’m sure, are being intimidated and now will be pulling some punches because they don’t want to be shown the door,” he said. “It is one thing for the senior professionals to be axed. But is the White House going to now start going further now in trying to remove intelligence professionals who are just trying to do their job but will face the wrath of a very vindictive Donald Trump?”

“What is your message then to your former colleagues who are still fighting the fight inside the intelligence services?” Willie Geist, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” asked.

“Carry out those responsibilities that you swore an oath to do. Because they have that very solemn responsibility, whether you’re in intelligence or a diplomat or in law enforcement, you need to carry out your responsibilities with the greatest integrity and honesty, and let the chips fall where they may,” Brennan replied. “I would tell them not to go to the door, not to leave, but continue to do their work the best they can.”

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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