Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Brennan reaffirms Trump ‘treason’



Brennan reaffirms Trump ‘treason’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington, DC, on Friday. AFP

Brennan reaffirms Trump ‘treason’

Former CIA chief John Brennan doubled down Sunday on his charge that Donald Trump has engaged in “treasonous” behaviour and called on Congress to block the US president’s attempts to strip other intelligence officials of their security clearances.

Brennan has received an outpouring of support from former top-ranking intelligence officers – but not much from Republican lawmakers – since Trump revoked his top secret security clearance last week in retaliation for what the president called “unfounded and outrageous allegations.”

Trump served notice that other top former and current officials – all Democrats – also were at risk of losing their clearances, and the White House has reportedly drawn up more revocation orders, raising the chilling spectre of an “enemies list.”

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Brennan reaffirmed his most inflammatory accusation against the president.

“I called his behaviour treasonous. I stand very much by that claim,” he said. “These are abnormal times . . . I have seen the signs blinking red on what Mr Trump has done and is doing.”

Brennan levelled the charge after Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month and cast doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election to sway it in Trump’s favor.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and whether the president sought to obstruction justice.

Earlier this week, Brennan denounced as “hogwash” Trump’s repeated claim there was “no collusion” with Russia.

“This is the time for members of Congress to step up,” he said on NBC, referring to a move by Democrats in the Senate to constrain the president’s ability to revoke clearances without following the normal process.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, defended Trump’s actions towards Brennan, telling “Fox News Sunday” that the former CIA chief had “crossed a line” in his criticism of the president.

But he added: “I don’t want to see this become routine. I don’t want to see it be politicized.”

Meanwhile, Trump on Sunday angrily denounced the federal probe of Russia’s 2016 election meddling as “McCarthyism at its WORST!” insisting that he had authorised his White House counsel to testify to bring the matter to a close.

Trump’s Twitter storm was set off by a front-page report in the New York Times that said White House counsel Don McGahn had provided Special Counsel Robert Mueller with an unusually detailed account of Trump’s thinking during key episodes under investigation.

Trump – who had already addressed the issue late Saturday – stepped up his attacks on the story and the probe in a series of angry morning tweets, slamming The New York Times for implying that McGahn had turned on him.

“I have nothing to hide . . . and have demanded transparency so that this Rigged and Disgusting Witch Hunt can come to a close. So many lives have been ruined over nothing – McCarthyism at its WORST!”

Mueller is investigating whether the president sought to obstruct justice as well as whether his campaign colluded with Russia’s covert effort to sway the 2016 presidential election in Trump’s favour.

In more than 30 hours of testimony over the past nine months, the Times said McGahn laid out for investigators Trump’s fury over the probe and the ways in which he asked McGahn to respond to it.

Among the episodes he testified to were Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey, and his obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the probe, according to the Times. It noted that McGahn played a key role in stopping Trump from firing Mueller, who was made special counsel after Comey’s firing.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 spreads in Kingdom, infects more children

    The Ministry of Health on March 28 reported another 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20 community outbreak. Among them, two are Chinese and the rest are Cambodian. Preah Sihanouk province recorded the most cases at 43, followed by the capital at 25; three each in Tbong Khmum, Svay