Brennan scoffs at Trump Jr. suggestion his ties to Sue Gordon disqualify her for DNI – Washington Examiner
Former CIA Director John Brennan dismissed claims that outgoing deputy spy chief Sue Gordon was somehow untrustworthy because of their close ties.
Gordon submitted her letter of resignation on Thursday, ending a guessing game about whether President Trump would pick her to be acting director of national intelligence with Dan Coats departing the role next week.
Brennan was prompted by MSNBC host Brian William to react to “the notion that a lot of people will always believe it was a tweet from Don Trump, Jr., that alleged you were best friends with Sue Gordon — that some will always believe was a major force in disqualifying her in the president’s eyes to take the top job.”
Brennan scoffed at the suggestion.
“I don’t take anything that Don Jr. says seriously,” John Brennan said. “I knew Sue Gordon, worked very closely with her. She worked with thousands of intelligence professionals during the course of her career. She has the utmost respect and admiration of those individuals she worked for, and if her time working with me at the CIA was disqualifying for this position, well, that’s probably disqualifying of thousands of dedicated women and men at the CIA and the intelligence community that I worked with over the years.”
Trump Jr.’s tweet last week was in response to Democratic outrage over reporting that said Trump might bypass Gordon for the acting role after Coats said he would resign as director of national intelligence.
“The plain language of the law requires that [Gordon] be elevated to that role once Dan Coats steps down,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The California Democrat argued that if the Trump administration bypasses her, it will be “further evidence of Trump’s intent to politicize the Intelligence Community to serve his partisan aims,”
Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, reacted with a tweet that said, “If Adam Schiff wants her in there, the rumors about her being besties with Brennan and the rest of the clown cadre must be 100% true.”
At least publicly, the president has had nothing but nice things to say about Gordon. When announcing her departure, which will coincide with Coats’ exit on Thursday, Trump said she “is a great professional with a long and distinguished career.”
Brennan, who has become a vocal critic of the president, said he was “disappointed” to see Gordon departing, and noted that hers and Coats’ simultaneous exit is “basically decapitating the intelligence community.”
He also said Trump’s pick for acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, a retired Navy vice admiral and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has his respect but “certainly does not have the breadth of experience and depth of experience that sue Gordon has.”