Donald Trump hit back Sunday in response to strong criticism by ex-CIA chief John Brennan, who called his Saturday speech at the Agency’s HQ a ‘despicable display’.
Brennan was incensed after Trump stood in front of the CIA’s Memorial Wall – which is dedicated to those who died in the line of service – and took the opportunity to boast about his inauguration crowds and decry the ‘lying media’.
But Trump tweeted Sunday that whatever the former CIA head thought, the meeting had gone well.
‘Had a great meeting at CIA Headquarters yesterday, packed house, paid great respect to Wall, long standing ovations, amazing people,’ he wrote. ‘WIN!’
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Donald Trump has hit back after ex-CIA director John Brennan (pictured) called his ‘self-aggrandizing’ speech at the CIA headquarters on Saturday a ‘despicable display’
Trump tweeted Sunday that that he ‘paid great respect’ to the Memorial Wall, which honors fallen employees, and had ‘long standing ovations’
Nick Shapiro, a former aide to John Brennan at CIA, said to NBC on 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.’
According to Shapiro, Brennan believes that Trump should be ashamed of himself.
This comes after weeks of back-and-forth feuding between President Trump and Brennan, regarding claims surrounding the dirty dossier.
The feud culminated in Trump blaming intelligence agencies for using Nazi-like tactics – drawing a rebuke from Brennan.
In his speech at the CIA, Trump expressed support for the Agency, but also spent a chunk of his time there denouncing the media for what he believes is dishonest and biased coverage of his inaugural weekend.
‘I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest people on earth,’ Trump said.
‘They made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence people.’
He spent a good period of time during the briefing discussing himself and his accomplishments, boasting about the size of his inaugural crowds and commenting on how smart he is, reported NBC.
Brennan’s remark came through Nick Shapiro, his former aide at the CIA, who said that the ex-chief believes Trump should be ashamed of himself for his speech (pictured)
The tone was vastly different to that of other presidents who have spoken there, many of whom tended to pay close attention to the sacrifices of the CIA officers and their families.
A former senior CIA officer called the president’s remarks a ‘free-wheeling, narcissistic diatribe,’ reported NBC.
However, another former CIA officer who supports Trump told NBC that the visit was a success, saying: ‘This is the part the media doesn’t get – this is not like any other president.
‘The critics hate this president so much they cannot get past it. The truth of the visit was in the face-to-face meetings – people were happy to talk to him. That assuaged a lot of concerns and a lot of anxiety.’
The new president also took the time to launch another attack on the ‘dishonest’ media at CIA headquarters, telling employees of the spy agency that reported attendance numbers for his swearing-in dramatically undershot the truth.
His declaration suggested that he believes one unnamed television network may have aired an overhead image shot long before the ceremony began.
Trump spent much of his speech during the briefing boasting of his accomplishments, including the size of his inaugural crowds and how smart he is
‘We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed,’ he told the CIA workers.
‘I get up this morning, I turn on one of the networks, and they show an empty field. I said, “Wait a minute! I made a speech! I looked out. The field was – it looked like a million, a million and a half people!”‘
‘It looked honestly – it looked like a million and a half people,’ Trump said. ‘Whatever it was, it was. But it went all the way back to the Washington Monument.
‘And I turn on the thing, and by mistake I get this network, and it showed an empty field. And it said we drew 250,000 people.’
‘Now, that’s not bad,’ Trump continued, ‘but it’s a lie.’
‘We had 250,000 people literally around – you know, in the little bowl we constructed. That was 250,000 people.
‘The rest of the, you know, 20-block area back to the Washington Monument was packed. So we caught them. And we caught them in a beauty. And I think they’re going to pay a big price.’
The tone was vastly different than that of other presidents who have spoken there, many of whom tend to pay close attention to the sacrifices of the CIA officers and their families