Two top former U.S. intelligence officials said Sunday that President Trump is being “played” by President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and accused him of being susceptible to foreign leaders who stroke his ego.
“By not confronting the issue directly and not acknowledging to Putin that we know you’re responsible for this, I think he’s giving Putin a pass,” former CIA director John Brennan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint.”
Appearing on the same program, former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said he agrees with that assessment.
“He seems very susceptible to rolling out the red carpet and honor guards and all the trappings and pomp and circumstance that come with the office, and I think that appeals to him, and I think it plays to his insecurities,” Clapper said.
Every foreign leader I’ve spoken with at #APEC thinks Trump presidency has been enormous gift for the Chinese.— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 10, 2017
Every single one.
“In every country Trump visited, none of the leaders entered trade negotiations or offered significant concessions.” https://t.co/F67H5SKBXS— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 10, 2017
The lesson of Trump’s visit to China is that if you a) Give him a big parade and b) lavish him with praise, he will soon be eating out of your hand.— Gideon Rachman (@gideonrachman) November 10, 2017