Outgoing CIA chief John Brennan on Sunday launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump, warning him to watch what he says and suggesting the president-elect doesn’t understand the challenges posed by Russia.
Brennan’s stern words — which sparked a quick Twitter retort from Trump — were the latest salvo in the ongoing feud between the incoming Republican leader and US intelligence agencies, who have concluded Moscow meddled in the November election.
The 70-year-old Trump, who takes office on Friday, tweeted saying that if the Russian leader “likes” him, it would be an “asset” to help repair strained ties with Moscow.
“I don’t think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia’s intentions and actions,” Brennan said of Trump on Fox News Sunday.
“I think Mr. Trump has to be very disciplined in terms of what it is that he says publicly,” he added.
“He is going to be, in a few days’ time, the most powerful person in the world, in terms of sitting on top of the United States government and I think he has to recognize that his words do have impact,” the CIA chief said.
“He’s going to have the opportunity to do something for national security as opposed to talking and tweeting,” he added.
“Spontaneity is not something that protects national security interests.”
Brennan also bristled at Trump’s likening of the US intelligence community to Nazi Germany, calling it “outrageous.”