Former CIA director: Trump has shown a lack of integrity

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrailer shows first look at Annette Bening as Dianne Feinstein Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats MORE told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE has shown a "lack of integrity" in office.

In an interview, the former Obama-era CIA chief explained his tweets attacking Trump following the firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeTrump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Conservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces MORE, whom Brennan defended.

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"The president has shown a lack of understanding of international affairs, as well as a real ignorance about what it takes to be president of the United States," Brennan said. 

"He is mean-spirited, he is dishonest, he has shown a lack of integrity, and he has continued to, I think, demean the office of the presidency," Brennan added.

Brennan's comments follow a tweet from the former CIA director accusing the president of turning McCabe into a "scapegoat" for problems at the FBI. McCabe said last week that he was fired over his proximity to former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 MORE, who was fired last year.

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America ... America will triumph over you," Brennan tweeted in response to Trump.

His comments referring to Trump's "lack of understanding of international affairs" appeared to be a reference to Trump's recent announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which were widely panned by Washington Republicans and free trade advocates.

Brennan condemned the tariff plan in a tweet earlier in March.

"You show an amazing albeit unsurprising ignorance of how technology, automation, and the attendant evolution of economics and societies have transformed the world. Your simple minded policies--imposition of tariffs--have the potential to seriously damage our future prosperity," Brennan wrote.

Brennan is a frequent critic of the president, and in February tweeted that the president was being "petty" by attacking law enforcement over the ongoing Russia investigation.

"It never ceases to amaze me how successful you have been making yourself so small, petty, and banal with your tweets," Brennan said at the time. "Your insecurity is well deserved, as is your concern over Russia investigation. Thomas Paine was right when he said, 'These are the times that try men's souls.'"