Foreign Leaders Manipulating Trump's Insecurities Is National Security Issue — Former CIA Director

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Former CIA Director John Brennan appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" to slam President Donald Trump.

Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.

But then in a surprising attack - especially from a president traveling overseas - Trump suggested that he placed greater credibility in Putin's assurances than in the endorsement by Brennan, Clapper and Comey of the U.S. intelligence agencies' finding of Russian interference.

"I'm with our agencies, especially as now constituted with their leadership", Trump said during the news conference held jointly with Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang.

"The president called the both of you and [former] FBI Director James Comey political hacks", Tapper stated.

Brennan and Clapper pushed back hard on Sunday, describing Trump's tepid response to the alleged Russian meddling as endangering United States national security.

On Veterans Day, during a question and answer session with the press on Air Force One, President Donald Trump called the former CIA Director and former Director of National Intelligence 'political hacks'.

"He said he didn't meddle, he said he didn't meddle".

While giving credence to Putin's denials of involvement, Trump simultaneously insinuated that there is doubt about the findings of USA intelligence agencies, which have, in fact, determined conclusively that Russian Federation meddled in the elections.

Trump tried to walk his comments back on Sunday in Vietnam, telling reporters there that he agrees with the intelligence community's conclusions on Russia's interference in the elections.

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Trump said he had two or three short conversations with Putin during a roundtable discussion and brought up Syria and other issues. I just asked him again.

CNN host Jake Tapper asked Clapper if Obama made a mistake to not make a "bigger public deal" of the efforts at the time, but Clapper responded that hindsight fell into the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" department. I just asked him again.

He also asked Putin again whether Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election. "He did not do what they are saying he did".

"The likelihood that the Russians are going to pursue like interests with us is slim and none", Clapper said.

"Having a good relationship with Russian Federation is a great, great thing".

Trump has long cast doubt on the intelligence community's findings on Russian Federation, and he has pushed back forcefully on its conclusion that the Kremlin mounted the effort specifically to help Trump's campaign and hurt that of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Comey's proven now to be a liar, and he's proven to be a leaker, so you look at that.

"First of all, he was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to de-legitimise the intelligence community assessment that was done".

"And our president fosters that ambiguity", he said.

Brennan responded that Trump's behavior sends a disturbing signal to America's allies and partners who are concerned about Russian interference in their democratic processes as well. A special counsel's examination of potential collusion between Moscow and Trump campaign aides so far has led to indictments against Trump's former campaign chairman and another top aide for crimes unrelated to the campaign, and a guilty plea from a Trump foreign policy adviser.

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