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Trump attacks 'disgraceful' former CIA director John Brennan hours before swearing-in first woman to the role

Gina Haspel is first woman to head pre-eminent intelligence agency 

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 21 May 2018 18:06 BST

Donald Trump launched a scathing attack on former CIA Director John Brennan, calling him “a disgrace”, hours before attending the swearing-in ceremony of his own pick to head the agency.

In a series of tweets that appeared, not for the first time, to have been inspired by a discussion he saw on Fox and Friends, the president castigated Mr Brennan, who headed the agency from 2013 to January 2017, during the administration of Barack Obama.

In recent months, Mr Brennan, 62, and Mr Trump, 71, have frequently engaged in insulting each other, either on social media or else during television appearances.

On Monday morning, Mr Trump wrote: “John Brennan is panicking. He has disgraced himself, he has disgraced the country, he has disgraced the entire intelligence community. He is the one man who is largely responsible for the destruction of American’s faith in the intelligence community and in some people at the top of the FBI.”

He added: “Brennan started this entire debacle about President Trump. We now know that Brennan had detailed knowledge of the (phoney) dossier...he knows about the dossier, he denies knowledge of the dossier, he briefs the Gang of 8 on the Hill about the dossier, which they then used to start an investigation about Trump.”

Mr Trump’s comments appeared to have originally been made by a former Secret Service agent and conservative commentator, Dan Bongino. Mr Bongino, who has unsuccessfully run for the House and Senate several times, had appeared on the Fox show that morning.

Gina Haspel hearing interrupted by an anti torture protestor yelling bloody gina

He also hosts his own show for the powerful National Rifle Association lobbying group.

Mr Trump has previously described Mr Brennan and James Clapper, Mr Obama’s director of national intelligence, as “leakers and liars” and “political hacks”.

Last month, Mr Brennan attacked Mr Trump’s comments.

“Mr Trump, your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Jim Clapper is a man of integrity, honesty, ethics, and morality. You are not,” Mr Brennan said.

“Jim Clapper served his country for over a half century, including in Vietnam. You did not. By your words and behaviour, you diminish the office of the presidency.”

Mr Trump’s Twitter tirade came hours before he travelled to the CIA’s headquarters at Langley, Virginia, for the swearing-in of the CIA’s first female director, Gina Haspel.

Ms Haspel won Senate confirmation last week after overcoming concerns about her role in the agency’s use of torture and other harsh interrogation techniques after the 9/11 attacks.

While the experienced Ms Haspel was backed by many in the CIA rank and file and senior intelligence officials, including former CIA directors and national intelligence directors, critics said it was wrong to reward someone who supervised a covert “black site” in Thailand

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