Former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin praised the "deep state" for its role in starting the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which started from an intelligence community member filing a whistleblower complaint.
McLaughlin and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan appeared on a panel hosted at George Mason University on Wednesday.
“But there is something unique you have to agree, that now the impeachment inquiry is underway, sparked by a complaint from someone within the intelligence community. It feeds the president’s concern and often used term about a ‘deep state’ being there to take him out," CBS News' Margaret Brennan said.
"Well you know, thank God for the deep state," McLaughlin quipped.
"I mean, I think everyone here has seen this progression of diplomats and intelligence officers and White House people trooping up to Capitol Hill right now and saying these are people who are doing their duty or responding to a higher call. It doesn’t — I guess it doesn’t — well, think about it for a minute, with all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence operative — officer to step forward and say something about it. Which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else," he continued.
McLaughlin asserted, though the intelligence community has its flaws, it "is institutionally committed to objectivity and to telling the truth. It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth. It’s engraved in marble in the lobby."
The House of Representatives formally voted on and passed a resolution on the impeachment inquiry on Thursday. All Republicans and two Democrats voted against the resolution, saying the inquiry has been tainted with a lack of due process for President Trump.