- The Washington Times
Sunday, July 9, 2017

Former CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday harshly criticized President Trump’s performance during the Group of 20 summit in Germany, saying he failed to take a hard enough line against Russian President Vladimir Putin and appeared to question the word of the U.S. intelligence community.

“He said it’s an honor to meet President Putin. An honor to meet the individual who carried out the assault against our election? To me, it was a dishonorable thing to say,” Mr. Brennan said of Mr. Trump during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The White House insisted Sunday that Mr. Trump pressed Mr. Putin on Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. campaign.

However, the president and his chief of staff have said other entities might have been responsible for meddling last year.

Mr. Brennan, who led the CIA from 2013 to 2017 under President Obama, took exception to Mr. Trump doubting the conclusions of U.S. intelligence offers who pointed their fingers squarely at Russia.

“Two days before the G-20 summit, in Warsaw, he continued to question the intelligence community’s high confidence assessment that Russia interfered in the election,” Mr. Brennan said. “He also raised questions about the integrity and capabilities of the U.S. intelligence community. And so therefore, I seriously question whether or not Mr. Putin heard from Mr. Trump what he needed to about the assault on our democratic institutions of the election.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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