Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Trump ‘score settling’ with Pentagon changes
Former CIA Director John Brennan argued Friday that President Trump 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.
“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 Biden 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.”
Former CIA director John Brennan says he hopes President Trump will not divulge national secrets after leaving office.
“But I do worry,” he says about what Trump might do to “enhance his personal, political, or financial standing in the future.” pic.twitter.com/1RJI2P6G92
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) November 13, 2020
Sources reportecly told CNN’s Jake Tapper 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.”
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