President Trump’s continued attacks on the nation’s intelligence community have earned him few friends among the past heads of those agencies. Now, however, the relationship has broken down to the point of an all-out Twitter war with the president’s defamation this morning of James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence under President Obama.
“Clapper lied about (fraudulent) Dossier leaks to CNN” @foxandfriends FoxNews He is a lying machine who now works for Fake News CNN.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2018
It goes without saying that the president — who has told an average of around six lies each and every day of his administration — quoting a program on the “news” network with the most distant relationship to the truth about the veracity of a former intelligence professional is about as laughable as it gets.
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Outside of the fact that the vast majority of the “(fraudulent) Dossier” has already been confirmed as factual, Trump’s description of Clapper as a “lying machine” is the best example of a pot calling the kettle black that one could imagine.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, a colleague of Clapper’s from the Obama era, saw Trump’s tweet and immediately rose to his friend’s defense, addressing the president directly and forcefully.
Mr. Trump: Your hypocrisy knows no bounds. Jim Clapper is a man of integrity, honesty, ethics, & morality. You are not. Jim Clapper served his country for over a half century, including in Vietnam. You did not. By your words & behavior, you diminish the Office of the Presidency. https://t.co/bYlmZInDoM
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) April 28, 2018
Brennan has apparently had enough of Trump’s dissembling distractions from his own egregious behavior and unleashed a truth bomb directly aimed at the core distinctions between the hypocritical president and the previously universally accepted standards of behavior for any government official, much less the commander-in-chief.
By publicly acknowledging Trump’s lack of “integrity, honesty, ethics, & morality,” Brennan perfectly describes the elephant in the Oval Office and in American politics in general.
His pointing out the difference between the life of public service that Clapper has led and Trump’s life of selfish indulgences and skirting of public responsibilities, including the duty to tell the truth to the American public, Brennan precisely explicates the manner in which Trump is diminishing the presidency and attempting to destroy our democracy.
Brennan should be applauded for his robust defense of his fellow intelligence agency alumnus and his accurate portrayal of the dotard currently defiling the White House. Only the continued fight against accepting as normal the truly deviant behavior emanating from the president can keep the creeping rot of fascism from conquering our democracy.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.