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Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Trump 'score settling' with Pentagon changes

Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Trump 'score settling' with Pentagon changes
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Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThe biggest example of media malfeasance in 2020 is... Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community Sunday shows: Health officials anticipate vaccine distribution, warn of worsening pandemic MORE argued Friday that President TrumpDonald TrumpFacebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP Section 230 worked after the insurrection, but not before: How to regulate social media MORE was “score settling” with recent personnel changes at the Pentagon.

His comments come amid concerns that the president is trying to fill the Pentagon with loyalists who can help push through controversial executive actions in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency. 

The fears were sparked by the firing of Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperBiden needs to fill the leadership gaps on Day One US meets troops reduction goal in Afghanistan, Iraq Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee MORE on Monday, and a series of resignations that quickly followed. 

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“He wants people to be personally loyal to him,” Brennan said in an interview on CNN. “So therefore the firing of Mark Esper and the decapitating of civilian leadership within the Pentagon, I think clearly is score-settling on the part of Mr. Trump.”

Brennan, a vocal Trump critic, said that it wasn’t clear in his view if the president was trying to politicize the military, or if he’s thinking about doing something that could compromise national security before President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMissouri woman seen with Pelosi sign charged in connection with Capitol riots Facebook temporarily bans ads for weapons accessories following Capitol riots Sasse, in fiery op-ed, says QAnon is destroying GOP MORE takes office.

“He still has the power of the presidency in his hands for the next 70 days,” Brennan said. “I’m hoping that people around him are counseling restraint so he does not engage in rash and reckless behavior, which he has unfortunately been known for.”  

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Sources reportecly told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote Kelly says Trump can't admit to making mistakes: 'His manhood is at issue here' 'I saw my life flash before my eyes': An oral history of the Capitol attack MORE on Monday that the White House had apparently focused on pushing out Esper’s undersecretaries after Esper and his team argued against withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller hired a senior adviser who frequently pushed for the immediate removal of troops from Afghanistan. 

Brennan also said that he hopes Trump would not divulge national security secrets once he leaves office, but that it does worry him. 

"I do worry,” he said, “about what Trump might do to enhance his personal, political or financial standing in the future."