In an interview with MSNBC's Hallie Jackson, former CIA director John Brennan warned that President Donald Trump looks at national security and Vladimir Putin in a "personal way" rather than what is in America's national interest. His actions, according to Brennan, preclude him from deserving any respect from Americans.
"It's a good idea for the United States and Russia to improve the relationship between the two countries," Brennan conceded. "The question is how and on what terms."
He went on to say that any leader should consider the historic context of what Russia has done in the past 10 years globally. Trump seemed to only learn about the annexation of Crimea in August of the election. Once he took office, he began to blame former President Barack Obama for the invasion, saying that it was because Putin didn't respect Obama.
"So I think it is important we have these contacts with Russia, but the fact Mr. Trump is going to give a summit to Mr. Putin, I think Mr. Trump looks at this in a different way about what is best in the national interest," Brennan said.
"Unfortunately I think Mr. Trump is either not smart enough to realize that Mr. Putin is playing him or he doesn't care," Brennan continued. "It's quite unfortunate. because, again, the NATO summit is coming up. It's almost 70 years of this alliance, a partnership built on liberty, democracy, and rule of law."
He said that it doesn't seem like Trump takes such values and relationships with NATO allies seriously.
"So, catering to the authoritarian leaders of the world which is what he's doing in terms of Putin, Kim Jong-un and others, it's dispiriting to others who believe the United States is showing this leadership," Brennan noted.
He recalled that he's worked for six presidents over his professional career. He worked very closely with three of them in both parties.
"All of them, I think, deserve the respect and admiration of the American people," he said. " What Mister Trump is doing is really unconscionable, continuing to advocate for his own -- and doing things that I think are contrary to many years of the United States' global role as well as his continue misleading lies to the American public. He has no credibility right now. And I take issue with having a person in the Oval Office who doesn't represent those traits, though qualities that we should."
Watch the full take below: