0146 GMT November 19, 2019
Trump last week accused US spy agencies of using Nazi tactics over leaking “fake news" and "phony stuff” about him to the media. His remarks were made after a news website, BuzzFeed, published a 35-page document containing unverified information -- from an alleged former British spy – that claimed that Trump was caught in a compromising position in Russia.
Brennan told The Wall Street Journal on Monday night that “it’s the right and indeed the responsibility of the president of the United States to challenge the conclusions of the intelligence community.”
“It’s when there are allegations made about leaking or about dishonesty or a lack of integrity, that’s where I think the line is crossed,” he added.
Trump has described the published material about him as “fake” and a “political witch hunt,” and said that the leaks from the US intelligence community to some media outlets were reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
Trump has also denounced Brennan, saying he might be the person who has been leaking “fake news” against him.
Brennan said he takes “great umbrage with that” comparison between the US intelligence community and Nazi Germany.
“Tell the families of those 117 CIA officers who are forever memorialized on our wall of honor that their loved ones who gave their lives were akin to Nazis,” Brennan said on Monday.
“Tell the CIA officers who are serving in harm’s way right now and their families who are worried about them that they are akin to Nazi Germany. I found that to be very repugnant, and I will forever stand up for the integrity and patriotism of my officers who have done much over the years to sacrifice for their fellow citizens,” he stated.
Brennan also responded to Trump’s statement questioning if he’s the “leaker of Fake News?”
“Was I a leaker of this? No,” the CIA chief asserted.
The BuzzFeed document has also claimed that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin is in possession of "compromising" personal and financial information about Trump which it might use to blackmail the US president-elect.
But, Russia has rejected the document as “completely fake,” adding that Moscow does not possess any blackmail file on Trump containing footage of him in a “compromising” position in a Moscow hotel.