John Brennan Accuses Mike Pompeo of Denigrating Him and His Work as CIA Director

‘It reflects a general insecurity’

CHUCK TODD: I want to get your reaction to something your successor said about his decision-making pro--process as head of the C.I.A. Here it is.


MIKE POMPEO: Government's worse than the private sector because the incentive systems are misaligned. And so I led by example. 40% of the decisions that were previously made by the director of the C.I.A. no longer are made by me. You might say, "Wow, that's reckless." I would tell you it was reckless to do it the other way.


JOHN BRENNAN: I think there are a number of senior members of this administration who follow Donald Trump's way of trying to denigrate and condemn everything that happened before them as a way to make them appear that they are doing things better than ever have been previously. And so I don't want to, you know, address what my successor says. I don't agree with some of the things that he has said. But I think it reflects a general insecurity that you -- only if you criticize your predecessors, whether it be President Obama or whether it be the former director of the C.I.A., do you -- are you able to make sort of points to try to trump up your credentials.

CHUCK TODD: Republican opponents of you critic -- claimed you were politicizing the C.I.A. There's some Democrats of Mike Pompeo that believe he's politicizing the C.I.A. What do you hear from rank and file?

JOHN BRENNAN: I am so confident that the rank and file of the C.I.A. are going to continue to do their mission. And they have been used to this before, this partisan-sniping. Unfortunately the rancor right now in Washington between the Democrats and Republicans is at an unprecedented level. And the ones I'm concerned about are the families of C.I.A. officers and F.B.I. agents. They're the ones who sacrifice on behalf of their loved ones. And to hear people like Mr. Trump and others denigrate the work that they do, and they're trying to make distinctions between the rank and file and the senior members, well, I think, you know, C.I.A. officers and F.B.I. officers know that these are institutions that I believe have been well-led over the years and that really are so important and critical to keep this nation safe and secure. So I just am appalled by the things that are being said.

CHUCK TODD: John Brennan, you're now adding the title of NBC News national security analyst, senior national security analyst. Welcome, welcome aboard. Thank you for being on Meet the Press.

JOHN BRENNAN: Thank you, Chuck.

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