John Brennan: Trump's tweets 'not the tweets of an innocent individual'

John Brennan: Trump's tweets 'not the tweets of an innocent individual'
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Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanEx-CIA director blasts Trump over 'temper tantrums' Ex-CIA director: 'I don't have any doubt' Trump will pardon Manafort Senate Dems request probe of White House security clearances MORE on Monday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE's claims that he can pardon himself and that the special counsel is unconstitutional, saying that "his tweets are not the tweets of an innocent individual."

Speaking on "MSNBC Live with Hallie Jackson," Brennan said the Department of Justice had the right to call for a special counsel to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, something he termed "an egregious assault upon our democratic foundations" and "electoral process."

He added that Trump's tweets show just how worried the president is about what special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE and his team are uncovering. 

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"So [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein, Bob Mueller and others are now looking into this and for the president at this point to say it's unconstitutional, I think it just shows how worried he is, how fearful he is about what the special counsel is uncovering," Brennan said.

"And his tweets are not the tweets of an innocent individual. So I think it really demonstrates just how desperate he is getting, grasping at straws, and Rudy Giuliani as well," he added, referring to the president's lawyer. 

"Neither Rudy nor his boss feel encumbered by facts, truth or common sense and so I think that's why they're throwing these things out now to try to get whatever traction among their base as possible."

In a tweet early Monday morning, Trump claimed that he has the "absolute right" to pardon himself but that he wouldn't because he hasn't committed a crime. He followed that up by tweeting that the special counsel investigation is "unconstitutional." 

 

Brennan has continually ripped Trump during his presidency. In an op-ed published in The Washington Post on Friday, he compared the president to “corrupt, incompetent … demagogues.”

Trump responded on Saturday by quoting conservative commentator and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who on "Fox & Friends" this weekend said that no "single figure in American history has done more to discredit the intelligence community than" Brennan.

Some commentators have accused Brennan of selective outrage. But Brennan pushed back against those views on Monday, stating that he's not partisan and only speaks out because of Trump's actions. 

"I am not going to hesitate when I think that the president of the United States takes full advantage of his Oval Office perch to tell the American people lies and also to try to protect himself and those around him who may, in fact, be liable to some type of actions on the part of the Department of Justice," Brennan said.