Despite repeatedly insisting that Obama’s intelligence agencies conducted “no spying on Donald Trump’s campaign,” a claim contradicted by inspector general reports, a two-year special counsel probe, congressional inquiries, and continued investigation, Obama administration CIA Director John Brennan said that the CIA values honesty.
“When you go into the intelligence profession, there also is a premium put on honesty, which sounds a bit, maybe, ironic to some, given that CIA officers sometimes have to adopt false personas when they go overseas to recruit spies,” Brennan told Tyler Cowen on a podcast episode of “Conversations With Tyler.”
“But inside of the CIA family, there is a real need to make sure that people don’t stray from the truth because national security really hangs in the balance,” Brennan said.
Evidence suggests that the CIA under Brennan “created the contacts and interactions that they then reported to the FBI as suspicious,” thus prompting the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane surveillance and harassment of Trump campaign associates.
Brennan also repeated lies he previously made to Congress that the Christopher Steele dossier did not affect the FBI and CIA’s review of disproven collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. A report from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed the former CIA director lied to Congress about this same claim.
“There never should be a reason or occasion for US government officials to provide misinformation or disinformation to a president,” Brennan told Cowen. “Absolutely not. It’s critically important that a president in a National Security Council team have as accurate an understanding as possible about it.”
“The sources that provide CIA officers the information might be misinformed might be misleading, but that’s part of the business of intelligence. You need to try to weed out the wheat from the chaff,” he added.
Instead, Brennan criticized the president for living “one lie after another.”
“He’s been masterful as far as capitalizing on this craving in the United States to believe in someone who is going to lead them, this country, out of the problems that they see,” Brennan said.
Brennan also called for less partisanship in the House Intelligence and CIA Oversight Committees and FISA reform.
“There have been a number of revelations as a result of the investigations that have gone on about the Russian investigation, revealing that there was not the type of rigor and the checking and double-checking of the information that goes into the FISA applications,” he said. “Without totally overhauling the system, I think there can be a way to ensure better accuracy of information that goes into them.”
Brennan further criticized the Trump administration’s facilitation of the recent Middle East peace deals saying it was a political move to help Trump get re-elected and hurt Palestinians who he claims “have been deprived of the very basic human rights and dignity that they deserve for so long.”
“I think, yes, looking at it just in isolation, it’s good that the UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan have relations with Israel,” he said. “But at the same time, I don’t know whether or not it’s now going to be more difficult or harder to address the Palestinian problem, which is long, long overdue for some type of resolution that, again, does justice to the Palestinian people.”
“The fact that the United States has moved the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem — it has undermined the United States’s traditional role of playing honest broker between the Arab states and Israel,” he added.