On NBC’s Thursday morning broadcast of the “Today” show, former CIA director John Brennan repeatedly praised the unknown author of the New York Times’s recent anti-Trump op-ed as a supreme example of “courageous” American patriotism. While admitting that the anonymous writer was committing “active insubordination” with the piece, Brennan justified his or her actions by claiming that because Trump is too “unfit” to be President, the writer is admirably trying to “prevent disasters” in the future.
“I think there are two major takeaways,” Brennan told “Today” co-host Savannah Guthrie in relation to the op-ed. “One is, what the author wrote is wholly consistent with all the reports that we have seen over the last year, the reports within Bob Woodward’s book, and other things about just how unfit, reckless, irresponsible Donald Trump is. But secondly, it shows the depth of concern within the administration, within the senior ranks of the administration, about what is happening and the extraordinary steps that individuals are willing to take, such as this op-ed, to prevent disasters.”
At this point, the former CIA director openly admitted that the op-ed author’s actions constituted “active insubordination.” However, Brennan then immediately praised the “insubordination” as being “born out of loyalty to the country, not to Donald Trump.”
When “Today” co-host Hoda Kotb directly asked Brennan whether he thought writing the op-ed was “a courageous act” or “more of a betrayal,” Brennan clearly leaned towards the former description [transcript from NewsBusters]:
KOTB: So to put a fine point on that. I mean, it probably took somebody some courage to write this. But would you see this as a courageous act, or, if you had to describe it, would you describe it as more of a betrayal?
BRENNAN: Well, I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Certainly the administration sees it as a betrayal. It’s certainly courageous. It’s risky. It is so unusual as to raise questions about – it’s so abnormal, these times, that people are doing abnormal things. People have criticized me for speaking out as a former director, but I see all the warning signs of looming disaster, as does this person.
Kotb followed this up by challenging Brennan’s apparent assumption that the op-ed would definitely help to prevent the “looming disaster” of a continued Trump presidency: “But do you think that this may just be counterproductive? You put all this in writing and President Trump, obviously he tweeted overnight saying he’s going to drain the swamp. Do you think this will actually add to the problems?”
Unfazed by Kotb’s mild skepticism, Brennan steadfastly stuck to his position and insisted that he thought the op-ed would — along with the Trump-bashing at John McCain’s funeral service and the Bob Woodward book — “have an impact in terms of a cumulative effect” in undermining Trump’s presidency. While the former CIA director did allow that he thinks “things will get worse before they get better” due to Trump’s “very dangerous” status as a “wounded lion,” he expressed vague hope that the Mueller team would find something “out there” to take Trump down.
To see the full transcript of Brennan’s appearance on the “Today” show, check out the link from NewsBusters.