Ex-CIA director praises McCabe’s investigation of Trump -- and says there was ‘a sufficient basis’ to think he's a Russian agent
NBC News national security analyst John Brennan (screengrab)

The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday vouched for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

John Brennan, who served as CIA director in the Barack Obama administration and director of the National Counterterrorism Center during the George W. Bush administration, joined MSNBC's "The 11th Hour" with Brian Williams to discuss the latest in the investigations into President Donald Trump.

The host played clips from two bombshell interviews that McCabe did on the network earlier in the day, first on "Deadline: White House" with Nicolle Wallace and then on "All In" with Chris Hayes."

"Director Brennan, Mr. McCabe is out there talking about our president as a possible Russian asset. Some people watching no doubt hear this and chalk it up to crazy talk and perhaps they have heard the attacks on Mr. McCabe from the conservative media, from the president," Williams noted. "I wanted to get your take on the possibility that our president is a Russian asset."

"Well, I worked closely with Andy McCabe for several years and he always impressed me as a very serious, hard-working and competent senior official of the FBI," Brennan replied. "And I do think he handled the investigation very adeptly and carefully."

"And if he decided at that point of the ongoing investigation, that he needed to include Donald Trump as a potential target for the counterintelligence investigation, I do believe there was a sufficient basis, -- again, based on my knowledge of Andy McCabe he wouldn't do something like that without a sufficient predicate," he explained.

"You know, I don't know what has happened in that investigation since I left government in January of 2017," he noted. "But I know that there was a lot of information that was available when I was there about Russian engagement in the interference in the 2016 election and also a lot of questions about Mr. Trump's actions, his statements, and his behavior -- and those around him."

"So I do hope that Bob Mueller is going to bring this to conclusion and let us know exactly what the evidence has been able to uncover about Russian engagement as well as the role of U.S. persons in this intrigue," Brennan added.