Just retired CIA director John Brennan clearly does not mince words. The son of Irish immigrants from Roscommon has issued a statement highly critical of President Trump for using CIA headquarters to deliver a major political speech and using the occasion for “self-aggrandizement.”
Brennan has served both Republican and Democratic presidents in top level security positions and was considered one of the most effective CIA directors in history.
Brennan stated he was “deeply saddened and angered” by President Donald Trump’s “despicable display of self-aggrandizement” during a speech in front of CIA employees on Saturday.
He fiercely defended his agency's work on alleged Russian interference in the election.
For that he earned a stinging rebuke from Trump who insinuated Brennan had leaked confidential information about Trump to the media.
On Saturday, Trump spoke in front of the wall honoring the 117 CIA agents who have given their life in America’s cause. His speech, however, was heavily political.
The Washington Post also reported a serving top intelligence officer was appalled. “That was one of the more disconcerting speeches I’ve seen,” said the senior U.S. intelligence official who was not present for the speech but watched it on video. “He could have kept it very simple and said, ‘I’m here to build some bridges.’ But he spent 10 seconds on that, and the rest was on the crowd size.”
Trimp claimed the media had grossly underestimated the crowd at his inauguration and also accused them of being dishonest.
“They made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence agencies. It is exactly the opposite,” Trump said, adding: “I love you, I respect you, there is nobody I respect more.
Brennan’s career has been spectacular. Brennan had a 25-year career as a spy overseas and a top analyst and executive at home. The shift within the CIA from Cold War focus to the Arab world made Brennan, fluent in Arabic and a Middle East specialist, an invaluable employee.
His career includes stints as station chief in Saudi Arabia, intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton, top deputy to CIA Director George Tenet during George W. Bush’s presidency, and, then the most highly coveted job in intelligence, CIA director.
He visited Ireland during The Gathering, the effort by the Irish government to bring the Diaspora home on visits and brought his father Owen Brennan along. He told IrishCentral in an interview he is considering buying a vacation home there.
Here Niall O'Dowd speaks to RTE about Donald Trump's first few hours in office and what's next: