Donald Trump has repeated allegations that he trusts Russian President Vladimir Putin over the Director of National Intelligence.
The former president was denounced by Republicans and Democrats when he first made the claim and has now repeated it on Truth Social.
His stance described members of the intelligence community, presumably including the CIA, NSA, FBI and cyber security agencies, as “low life”.
Remember in Helsinki when a third-rate journalist asked me, basically, who I trusted more, Russian President Putin, or our unscrupulous “intelligence”.[?]the former president wrote in a Monday morning post.
He continued, “My instinct at the time was we had some really bad people like James Comey, McCabe (whose wife was being helped by Crooked Hillary during the Crooked investigation!), Brennan, Peter Strzok (his SEC wife) and his lover Lisa Page. Now McGonigal and other shit to the list. Who would you choose, Putin or these misfits? »
It’s an example of the kind of comment that will win enthusiasm and agreement from Trump’s die-hard support base, but alienate potential allies in Washington as he seeks to secure a third presidential bid.
Trump is likely to face a slew of Republican challengers for the 2024 Republican nomination, including, most likely, former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who may take issue with his former boss’s words during the campaign.
The former president has been reluctant to acknowledge US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election — on their behalf or at Hillary Clinton’s expense — throughout his four years in the White House.
Russia’s participation in the election sparked a years-long politically damaging investigation into Donald Trump and his inner circle, led by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller, that ultimately led to the president not being charged with a criminal offense (though others were charged against the president). He was convicted of unrelated charges during the investigation).
Mr. Trump has long held a grudge against the FBI and the Justice Department for this reason, a dispute that spilled over into public vilifications of agency employees and its mission last year after FBI agents raided his Mar-a-Lago residence and resort and seized documents. Including material that has been marked confidential and that he retained without permission.