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Exclusive: John Brennan says Trump is biggest threat to 2020 election

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Michael_Novakhov
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  • Former CIA director John Brennan told Insider that the biggest threat to the November election is President Donald Trump himself.
  • He said the “dishonesty” and disinformation that comes out of the White House and Trump campaign is just as dangerous as foreign interference in the election.
  • Brennan has earned a reputation as one of Trump’s most vociferous critics since he left the CIA in 2017 and he doesn’t mince words in his new memoir, “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, At Home and Abroad.”
  • The former CIA chief wrote that he was “disgusted” and “nauseated” by Trump’s behavior toward the US intelligence community and his refusal to acknowledge Moscow’s campaign to interfere in the 2016 election.
  • Overall, Brennan told Insider, Russia got everything it could have hoped for from Trump’s presidency.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former CIA director John Brennan believes the biggest threat to the 2020 election is the sitting US president.

“Dishonesty, especially that coming out of the Donald Trump campaign, and the fact that you have certain networks that continue to misrepresent the facts in a very willful and dishonest fashion, is the main risk,” he told Insider in an interview. “Trump has a very well established and recognized track record of misrepresenting the truth, and he will continue to do so. And unfortunately, there are too many people who just drink in that demagogic rhetoric that he spews out.”

Brennan spent more than two decades at the CIA and served as director of the agency from 2013 to 2017. Before becoming director, Brennan worked as an analyst in the Near East and South Asia division, and later as a station chief in Saudi Arabia and the head of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Brennan left public service in 2005 to work in private security consulting, but he returned to the government in 2009.  In 2013, then-President Barack Obama nominated Brennan to lead the CIA, which he did until 2017.

Since leaving the US government, Brennan has developed a reputation as one of Trump’s sharpest and most consistent critics. The former director told Insider he attributes part of that to his “Irish temper.” But Brennan’s concerns about the president took root long before he departed his post as CIA director, according to his new book, “Undaunted: My Fight Against America’s Enemies, At Home and Abroad,” which was released on Tuesday.

The book opens with a fraught scene that took place on January 6, 2017, days before Brennan left the agency. He and other US intelligence chiefs briefed Congress’ Gang of Eight and, later, then-President-elect Donald Trump about Russia’s unprecedented and elaborate interference in the 2016 election. The attack, and Trump’s refusal to acknowledge it, would become one of the defining failures of his presidency.

During the briefing, Brennan wrote, Trump repeatedly cast doubt on the veracity of the intelligence, despite the fact that the heads of the CIA, NSA, FBI, and the director of national intelligence agreed on its contents.

Near the end of the briefing, Trump suggested that intelligence provided by human sources, or HUMINT, could be fabricated for personal gain. “Anyone will say anything if you pay them enough. I know that, and you know that,” Trump told Brennan, the book said.

The former CIA director wrote that he was “disgusted” by the president-elect’s comments given the life-threatening circumstances human intelligence sources place themselves in to serve their country.

“I stared at Trump” and “bit my tongue nearly hard enough to draw blood,” Brennan wrote. “I knew that he saw me at the time not as John Brennan the person but as the director of the CIA, and I did not want to irredeemably spoil the CIA’s relationship with the incoming president before it even got started.”

As the briefing ended, Brennan became “even more convinced that my long-held assessment of Trump’s narcissism, lack of principles, and unfitness for the country’s highest office was accurate. He showed no intellectual curiosity about what Russia had done and how it had carried out its campaign to interfere in the election, which suggested to me that he wasn’t interested in learning the truth or in taking action to prevent a recurrence.”

Nearly four years later, the former CIA chief’s assessment hasn’t changed. And fewer than 30 days out from November 3, Brennan thinks the disinformation flowing out of the White House and its allies in the conservative media is just as dangerous as foreign disinformation.

“There is an overlap between the two, because a fair amount of what’s happening here, whether it’s coming out of domestic sources, is being fueled and encouraged by foreign actors,” Brennan told Insider. “When I look at the polarization of our society and the rise of the far right and far left, a lot of that has domestic foundations, but our foreign adversaries want to stoke those fires to further enrage the social discourse, to make people on both ends of the spectrum more radical and more extremist.”

CIA employees feel ‘demoralized’ under Trump and have ‘deep concern’ about the politicization of intelligence, Brennan says

Further hobbling the US is the politicization, manipulation, and suppression of intelligence that’s taken place under the Trump administration.

Last month, a former senior Department of Homeland Security official, Brian Murphy, filed a whistleblower complaint saying he was told to stop focusing on Russian election interference and to withhold intelligence assessments about the matter because it made the president “look bad.”

In August, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe announced that he would no longer brief Congress on foreign election interference, though he partially reversed course in mid-September, saying his office would resume briefings for the House and Senate intelligence committees.

And last week, Ratcliffe again made headlines when he sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham revealing dubious information from a “Russian intelligence analysis” claiming that Hillary Clinton “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” against Trump in 2016 “by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”

Ratcliffe declassified the information despite the fact that the US intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication,” according to the letter.

Ratcliffe and his predecessor, former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell, “badly abused their oath of office and responsibilities to this country,” Brennan said. Ratcliffe’s decision to send the letter was “a very selective release of information that was designed to promote the interests, objectives, and goals of Donald Trump. So it was very disappointing.”

He also pointed out Ratcliffe’s reputation as one of Trump’s biggest attack dogs on Capitol Hill before he took over as head of the intelligence community. Indeed, Trump nominated the former Texas congressman for the DNI post after Ratcliffe berated and attacked the special counsel Robert Mueller last year over his findings in the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“He was a very partisan supporter of Donald Trump when he was in Congress,” Brennan said of Ratcliffe. “And he’s just continuing to play that role as director of national intelligence.” 

The ex-CIA director said that many of his former colleagues at the agency have found Trump’s tightening grip on the intelligence community “demoralizing” and expressed “deep concern about what they see happening” in the national security apparatus.

“They see that their intelligence is not being used to further US interests, it’s being disregarded and dismissed by the chief executive. And that leads a lot of my former colleagues to question why they continue to work so hard if their efforts are not being useful and worthwhile,” he said. “So this has a very deleterious effect on the workforce.”

A ‘weaker’ US under Trump is Putin’s gain

Brennan, for his part, wrote that he became aware of Trump’s transactional and political approach to leading the intelligence community from his very first day on the job.

On January 21, 2017, one day after being inaugurated as the commander in chief, Trump visited the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. While standing in front of the Memorial Wall, which pays tribute to every CIA officer who died in the line of duty, Trump boasted about the crowd size at his inauguration while Brennan watched the event on television.

“I couldn’t take it anymore. I felt physically nauseated watching and listening to him,” Brennan wrote in his book. He went to the gym to work off his anger. That was the first time he publicly spoke out against the sitting president, texting his former chief of staff, Nick Shapiro, the following statement: “Former 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. He should be ashamed of himself.” 

As for how Trump has fared since then, Brennan did not mince words, saying the president is the biggest threat to the US’s national security and future. Russia, on the other hand, got everything it could have hoped for from the Trump presidency, he said.

“The weaker the United States is, and the more tarnished our reputation is in the eyes of the world, the less able we are to play the leadership role we’ve played over the last 75 years,” he said. “So what’s happened to the US now plays directly into Putin’s goals.”


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2:50 PM 10/6/2020 – With Fish Dying And Talk Of Rocket Fuel In The Water, Residents Of Russia’s Kamchatka Want Answers

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Michael_Novakhov
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2:50 PM 10/6/2020 – With Fish Dying And Talk Of Rocket Fuel In The Water, Residents Of Russia’s Kamchatka Want Answers

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty: With Fish Dying And Talk Of Rocket Fuel In The Water, Residents Of Russia’s Kamchatka Want Answers

Some experts fear that toxic rocket fuel could be behind Russia’s latest ecological disaster, a mysterious event that has left residents ill and hundreds of marine carcasses strewn on the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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2:18 PM 10/6/2020 – Twitter, Facebook censor Trump’s message comparing coronavirus to flu

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Michael_Novakhov
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2:18 PM 10/6/2020 –  Twitter, Facebook censor Trump’s message comparing coronavirus to flu

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1:38 PM 10/6/2020 – Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, Florida | Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

1:38 PM 10/6/2020 – Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, FloridaHopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violenceA Harvard professor has claimed, without providing a single shred of evidence, that Russian intelligence agents were able to gain access to Walter Reed hospital where President Trump recovered from coronavirus over the weekend.New Mexico

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1:38 PM 10/6/2020 – Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, Florida | Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

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Michael_Novakhov
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from The News And Times.

1:38 PM 10/6/2020 – Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, Florida

Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

A Harvard professor has claimed, without providing a single shred of evidence, that Russian intelligence agents were able to gain access to Walter Reed hospital where President Trump recovered from coronavirus over the weekend.

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Нагорный Карабах: новое наступление

From: euronewsru
Duration: 01:10

Азербайджан начал новое наступление в Нагорном Карабахе. Стороны обвиняют друг друга в обстреле гражданских объектов, от которых гибнут мирные жители.


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Harvard CNN Analyst Claims “Russian Agents” Were Inside Walter Reed Hospital With Trump

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Michael_Novakhov
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Harvard CNN Analyst Claims “Russian Agents” Were Inside Walter Reed Hospital With Trump

Tyler Durden

Tue, 10/06/2020 – 12:47

Authored by Steve Watson via Summit News,

A Harvard professor has claimed, without providing a single shred of evidence, that Russian intelligence agents were able to gain access to Walter Reed hospital where President Trump recovered from coronavirus over the weekend.

Juliette Kayyem, who is also a regular CNN analyst, declared that it is “very likely” that Russian spies were there to gather information about Trump’s condition.

Kayyem, a senior lecturer in international security at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, tweeted out the bizarre proclamation along with “#doctorslietoo”.

Kayyem followed up with a double down tweet, asking “What part of this don’t you believe?” as if it was a perfectly rational claim to make.

Other Twitter users responded to the batshit insanity:

Kayyem’s assertions on Twitter are one thing, but her sometime employer CNN has been running programming claiming that Trump’s doctors and staff are all lying and “hiding” the severity of his condition:

This despite frequent video updates from Trump, reports about him working as normal from Walter Reed, and his discharge and return to the White House, where he stood and saluted last night before stepping back inside:

Trump urged Americans not to let this situation “dominate” their lives, and proclaimed that as a leader, he had to return quickly:


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Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

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Michael_Novakhov
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The latest flare-up of violence is one of the worst observed in recent years, with dozens on both sides killed in the fighting.


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Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence

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Michael_Novakhov
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Fighting between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces continued in recent days with a ceasefire seeming unlikely on Tuesday, despite calls from the international community.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu openly questioned the usefulness of a ceasefire as he visited Baku, hitting out at foreign actors: “The international community once again calls for a ceasefire. What will happen afterwards, will Armenia be led to withdraw immediately from Azerbaijani territories?”

His visit came after Paris, Moscow and Washington, mediators in the region since the 1990s, the day before described the flare-up of violence as “an unacceptable threat to the stability of the region”.

The three countries chair the Minsk Group of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which, since 1992, has aimed to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

But Cavusoglu hit back saying: “Can you come up with a solution? No, so it’s just the same calls for the last 30 years.”

In a statement to Euronews, spokeswoman for Armenia’s foreign affairs ministry, Anna Naghdalyan, labelled Turkey “the instigator of this large-scale violence in our region” and said it was “directly involved in planning and implementing military plans of Azerbaijan”.

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“Turkey is encouraging Azerbaijan not to comply with the calls of the OSCE Minsk Group co-Chairs and cease hostilities. The current visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister serves this purpose,” she said.

While Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement that during a meeting of security services “the current situation in the counter-offensive operation was analysed and instructions were given to continue the planned, purposeful, and consistent destruction of the enemy forces.

“The Minister of Defence instructed the troops to take vital important and necessary activities in the liberated territories.”

The latest flare-up of violence is one of the worst observed in recent years, with dozens on both sides killed in the fighting.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said Armenia’s withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh is the sole condition for a cessation of hostilities.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said that “a cease-fire can be established only if Turkey is removed from the South Caucasus.”

NATO member Turkey has denied sending weapons or foreign fighters but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara will stand by Azerbaijan until it reaches “victory”.

The former Soviet states of Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a bloody war over the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s.

Thousands were killed on both sides. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.

The war ended with a truce in 1994, although there has been sporadic violence since as the dispute remains unresolved.


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11:05 AM 10/6/2020 – Audio and Video Review: Brennan: Health Crisis Could Lead To National Security Issues

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Michael_Novakhov
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11:05 AM 10/6/2020 – Audio and Video Review

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Возможной причиной ЧП на Камчатке назвали полигон ядохимикатов

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Москва. 6 октября. INTERFAX.RU – На Камчатке группа специалистов прибыла на полигон ядохимикатов, чтобы выяснить – может ли он быть причиной отравления акватории у берегов полуострова, сообщается во вторник на сайте правительства региона.

“Самый очевидный ответ, где может быть источник загрязнения, это Козельский полигон ядохимикатов. Прямо сейчас там находится группа специалистов, снимает все пробы, анализирует целостность конструкций, проводит замеры”, – приводятся в сообщении слова губернатора края Владимира Солодова.

Солодов отметил, что вблизи Козельского полигона ядохимикатов представителям контрольных органов предстоит обследовать и приток реки Налычева, впадающей в акваторию Авачинской бухты.

“Также к нам в информационный центр приходили видео по одному из притоков реки Налычево: туда тоже сейчас вездеходами добираются представители контрольных органов”, – сказал глава региона.

Он подчеркнул, что выявлением отравляющего вещества занимаются специалисты по сейсмике, по водным объектам, по географии, другие группы.

“Самого вещества нигде мы пока ухватить не можем. Мы можем только предполагать, что могло так отразиться на экологии, по тому, как выглядит бентос (существа, обитающие на дне водоема – ИФ), организмы, выбросы и так далее. Это косвенные свидетельства”, – сказал Солодов. Он добавил, что над решением этого вопроса работают специалисты региональных и федеральных структур.

Кроме того, губернатор поручил организовать проверку двух хозяйствующих субъектов, которые потенциально могли оказать такое воздействие – Камчатский водоканал и “Камчатскэнерго”.

Козельский полигон ядохимикатов находится рядом с одноименным вулканом примерно в 35 км от Петропавловска-Камчатского. По данным из открытых источников, на законсервированном в 2010 году могильнике хранится более 100 тонн ядохимикатов и пестицидов, в том числе около 20 тонн соединений мышьяка, захороненных с 1979 по 1982 годы.

В конце сентября серферы Камчатки рассказали об изменении цвета воды в Тихом океане на Халактырском пляже. Они жаловались, что после заплывов у них опухали и краснели глаза, а также было раздражение на коже. Местные жители публиковали в соцсетях сообщения о выброшенных на берег мертвых морских животных, в том числе, осьминогах, морских ежах, морских звездах.

Основатель камчатской школы серфинга “Snowave Surf School” Антон Морозов заявил о том, что более 200 человек пострадали от контакта с загрязненной водой Тихого океана на Халактырском пляже. По официальным данным регионального Минздрава, за помощью к врачам обратились девять человек. Им поставлен диагноз “химический ожог роговицы первой степени”.

В прибрежных морских водах в районе Халактырского пляжа специалисты выявили загрязнение в 2,5 раза по фенолам и в 3,6 раза – по нефтепродуктам.

Пробы воды, песка, образцы погибших морских животных и моллюсков направлены на исследование в лаборатории Москвы и Владивостока. По данным Минприроды РФ, расширенный анализ проб воды с тихоокеанского побережья Камчатки завершится к 8 октября.

Пока специалисты рассматривают три версии причин случившегося: техногенное загрязнение; природные явления, например, воздействие токсичных микроводорослей, и версия, связанная с сейсмической активностью на полуострове, с деятельностью вулканов.


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“us national security” – Google News: After Chasing Threats Abroad, Former CIA Chief John Brennan Says The Risk Is At Home – NPR

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After Chasing Threats Abroad, Former CIA Chief John Brennan Says The Risk Is At Home  NPR

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