On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former CIA Director John Brennan suggested that President Donald Trump is at his most dangerous when frightened of losing power — as is typical of autocrats.
"Donald trump is ending his presidency, really, in the same place as he began it, incapable or unwilling to confront Russian aggression. And of course it started with Russia's interference in the 2016 election," said anchor Kate Bolduan, playing footage of Trump publicly defending Russia from accusations of attacks on the U.S. "This has really been a hallmark of his presidency. it's a question that has befuddled so many, but in these final days, have you ever been able to understand why?"
"No," said Brennan, a frequent critic of the outgoing president. "It's interesting because the words he just spoke when you provided the footage, they're almost exactly the same words he spoke in early January of 2017 when myself and Jim Comey and Jim Clapper briefed him on the Russian interference in the election. He kept pushing back against that. He refuses to accept reality. I think he realizes Russia has helped him prior to the 2016 election and even afterward, which is why he's given them a pass."
"I must also say that the most dangerous times for an autocrat, in terms of what they might do, is when they are seeking power, as well as when they're on the verge of being deposed from power," said Brennan. "That's what I think we see right now with Donald Trump. He's clearly frightened with what's ahead of him when he departs from the White House. He knows what he's done wrong throughout the course of his life, either during his time at the White House or prior to that. And I think he's very, very frightened at the prospect of being a private citizen and subject to whatever might be coming his way, from the standpoint of legal challenges or whatever. Again, he's clearly a desperate person grasping at a wicker straw and he's found people to support these claims of widespread fraud."