- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Former CIA Director John Brennan said President Donald Trump “should be ashamed” for using a speech at the agency’s headquarters to boast about himself, his former deputy chief of staff said Saturday.
“Former CIA Director Brennan is deeply saddened and angered at Donald Trump’s despicable display of self-aggrandizement in front of CIA’s Memorial Wall of Agency heroes,” Nick Shapiro said in a statement.
Trump had spoken to CIA employees earlier Saturday while standing in front of a wall honoring operatives who were killed in the line of duty. He pledged his support for the agency, “1,000%,” but also raged about the “dishonest media” and complained of coverage that showed underwhelming crowds during his inauguration on Friday.
“We had a massive field of people … Packed. I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field,” Trump told the employees, although photos from the event show much sparser crowds than those that had attended former President Barack Obama’s inaugurations in 2009 and 2013.
“As you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” he continued.
Trump’s visit had been viewed as an effort to repair his tense relationship with the agency, after he frequently undermined and criticized intelligence officials’ assertions that Russia had interfered in the election campaign.