Brennan: Trump called us hacks to delegitimize intelligence report

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan calls on Congress to end shutdown before negotiating border security: Not 'subservient' to the president Washington’s reflexive opposition to Trump on Syria Brennan hopes GOP abandons Trump in 2019 over 'malfeasance, corruption' MORE said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE called him a political hack in order to cast doubt on his and other intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election.

“Well first of all, he was referring to us as political hacks because he was trying to delegitimize the intelligence community assessment that was done,” Brennan told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

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Trump on Saturday said Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey are political hacks. Those leaders were in charge in January, when a declassified report from those three agencies was released that said Russia called for an influence campaign aimed at interfering in the United States election.

“And then you hear it's 17 agencies. Well, it's three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They're political hacks,” Trump told reporters.

“So you look at it — I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he's proven to be a leaker,” he added.

Trump also said he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin “means it” when he denied Moscow meddled in the United States election. He said he would not "argue" with Putin's denials.

After receiving backlash, Trump said he believes the intelligence agencies.

“I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election,” Trump said, referring to Putin. “As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as currently constituted, with their leadership." 

Brennan noted that he, Clapper and Comey did not author the January report, saying other intelligence officers did.

“It’s very clear that the Russians interfered in the election and it’s still puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that, embrace it and also push back hard against Mr. Putin,” he said.