WH Staffers Pile On Former CIA Head For Criticizing Trump’s Off-The-Rails Speech

AP

Top staffers in Donald Trump’s administration jumped to attack former CIA Director John Brennan for his criticism of Trump’s rambling speech at the agency on Saturday evening.

In a statement posted to Twitter on Saturday night, former CIA Deputy Chief of Staff Nick Shapiro wrote that Brennan was “deeply saddened and angered at Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement” and said the President should be “ashamed of himself.”

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus suggested in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” that Brennan was “bitter” over his replacement.

“You know, he was replaced the day before. He was not asked to hold over like Clapper was,” Priebus said. “I don’t know what’s in his head.”

He said that Trump’s visit to the agency was a “love fest,” despite the President’s repeated dismissal of the intelligence community.

“These are men and women that President Trump loves and respects,” Priebus said. “And the reason he went there first was to tell them, ‘I don’t want you to believe the media that I don’t respect you all.'”

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway called Brennan’s response an “unremarkable, spectacularly disappointing statement” and said that Brennan “sounded like a partisan political hack.”

“I really think everybody needs to take a step back and a very deep breath and think about what their words are,” she said.

Conway also said that Trump plans to return to the agency to accommodate more attendees at a future event.

“It’s really time for him to put in his own security and intelligence community,” she said. “We really would prefer the intelligence community that’s going out the door to be much more respectful toward the President.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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