The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency blasted President Donald Trump for trying to use “authoritarian” tactics to win his border wall fight — and said he’d been doing so for quite some time.
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace pointed out that after Trump failed to get Congress on board with border wall funding, he moved to “simply reach for the authoritarian’s toolbox and do it by emergency declaration.”
“I think Donald Trump has been reaching into the authoritarian’s toolbox for quite some time,” former CIA director John Brennan responded, “in terms of delegitimizing the press, undermining the institutions of government, trying to corrupt and control of the institutions of law enforcement and intelligence.”
“His opting for this right now I think is just very typical of him,” he added. “And he’s again fabricating crisis that leads to real crises, crisis of confidence in the government, crisis of confidence among federal workers.”
Brennan said that he thinks Trump “comprehends but doesn’t care” that his shutdown is hurting federal workers “because he lacks that gene of empathy.”
“He only does things that are going to benefit himself,” the former CIA chief said. “I think that’s been his way not just since he was inaugurated but long before that.”
“The fact so many Americans are going to suffer as a result of this,” Brennan concluded, “I don’t think it bothers him. He’s just looking at which way the political winds blow, which is what authoritarian leaders do.”