Well, that didn’t take long.
Ex-CIA Director John Brennan, about as apolitical as civil servants come nowadays, watched what happened over the weekend and promptly went on Chris Hayes’ show to let people know that we likely underestimate the awfulness and what it costs us beyond our borders.
Other nations are surely isolating the United States, making deals without us, not caring what we think, and not trusting us as a nation. Oh, and they know Trump lies to them throughout these meetings. Transcripts come from RawStory:
“I think a lot of the leaders have written off what he says publicly.”
“But, also I’m very concerned — given his public dishonesty — what dishonesty is he engaged in in these private meetings with world leaders, with those allies of countries that we have worked with so hard for so long. What is he telling them?
Brennan is concerned that Trump is either telling the truth while giving away highly valuable intelligence, the type that gets people on the ground killed, or simply lying his ass off to the people that might otherwise save our asses should things get problematic, the people we need to trust us.
This, of course, is above and beyond the fact that even if Trump were an earnest and loyal public citizen, he still couldn’t tie his shoes properly standing alongside real international leaders:
“But I think they realize he is way, way out of his depth, that he is incompetent, but also he is somewhat delusional as far as how he views the world and his inability to grasp the reality of the geostrategic situation around the globe today,”
We are talking about the United States president and throwing around words like “delusional,” and “inability to grasp the reality.”
The problem is, we talk like this all the time. It is the fact that an inscrutable man like Brennan, known for his tremendous patience and calming manner, also uses these words in assessing Trump’s overall fitness for the position. It is unprecedented, deservingly so.
Of course, Brennan has long-warned us about the danger Trump poses with respect to domestic and international affairs. The other thing one best keep in mind, as an ex-CIA director, Brennan has seen intelligence on various matters that we likely cannot comprehend. Brennan knows far more than us – and Robert Mueller – about the depth of Trump’s ties to Russia.
Ex-CIA directors never feel the need to come forth and comment on present-day politics. That is considered “unseemly” in the intelligence world, a world that often holds itself as too superior to engage the political. Yet here is the archetype of that professionalism, and attitude, blasting the current president. It is enough to make one wonder if he is waving a giant flag in front of our faces: “You still do not get it. Other nations do not trust him, and they have good reason, just extrapolate from what I am saying for a moment. They know all the secrets, you do not.”
It is not wild speculation on my part. Trump has long had public relationships – real estate deals and such – with some of the most loathsome, and powerful, Russian oligarchs out there. It is impossible to have such relationships and not come to the attention of our foreign intelligence service. Hell, it appears Epstein got lots of attention, and Trump was right there during all too much of it, making more deals with Russians than Epstein. Any mature and well-read adult really ought to acknowledge that the CIA likely knows exponentially more than we do about Trump’s “lies,” and “incompetence.” They likely know the exact reason Trump is the only G7 leader begging to bring Putin back to these meetings.
So, when I hear Brennan speak, I always hear it on two levels. Yes, he is evaluating Trump’s actual performance on the world stage. But, he will never not be making those evaluations in light of things we probably cannot imagine. He certainly cannot ever tell us, at least not until some of the information is declassified. He definitely cannot tell us things he hears from old friends, stuff that is more current, stuff that comes from intercepted phone calls between some of these leaders and their staff, imagine those conversations? We don’t have to imagine, we already have one assessment from the British Ambassador, now imagine hearing Japan’s assessment? Germany’s?
When Brennan speaks, the entire Republican party needs to listen. The problem is that the Republicans do listen. They are just too afraid to do anything about it.
Meanwhile, the leaders from other nations will put on an acceptable public face. But behind the scenes, they most certainly are not afraid to “do something about it,” which is Brennan’s entire point. Brennan knows that whatever else these nations choose to “do about it,” they will not be putting the interests of Americans front and center.
No one on the world stage is putting American interests first right now, which is Brennan’s underlying message, extrapolated.