President Trump ripped former CIA director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, General Hayden, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe as well as Peter Strzok and "his lover" Lisa Page and said that he never had confidence in them in an interview that aired on CBS Evening News.
Trump specifically called out Brennan and Clapper in the interview with Jeff Glor of CBS News that aired Wednesday night. He called Brennan a "total low-life" and that Clapper had gone "haywire."
"In the past, no, I have no confidence in a guy like Brennan. I think he's a total low-life. I have no confidence in Clapper," Trump told CBS News.
Trump's comments inspired Clapper to go on CNN late Wednesday evening to respond to the attack.
TRUMP: Well, certainly in the past, it's been terrible. You look at Brennan, you look at Clapper, you look at Hayden, you look at Comey, you look at McCabe, you look at Strzok and his lover, Lisa Page. You look at other people in the F.B.I. that have been fired, are no longer there.
Certainly I can't have any confidence in the past. But I can have a lot of confidence in the present and the future, because it's getting to be now where we're putting our people in. But in the past, no, I have no confidence in a guy like Brennan. I think he's a total low-life. I have no confidence in Clapper. You know, Clapper wrote me a beautiful letter when I first went to office, and it was really nice.
And then, all of a sudden, he's gone haywire because they got to him and they probably got him to say things that maybe he doesn't even mean. But no, I certainly don't have confidence in past people. You look at what's happened. Take a look at all of the shenanigans that have gone on. Very hard to have confidence in that group.
"It's reached the point, and I think I'm speaking for my case and John Brennan's. It's almost a badge of honor when the president sees fit to go after individual private citizens. And I think I can speak, as well, for all of us to say -- and I include Jim Comey in this," Clapper told CNN.
Clapper responded on Wednesday's The Situation Room, calling the attacks a "badge of honor" for himself and John Brennan.
JAMES CLAPPER, FMR. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLECTUAL: It's reached the point, and I think I'm speaking for my case and John Brennan's. It's almost a badge of honor when the president sees fit to go after individual private citizens. And I think I can speak, as well, for all of us to say -- and I include Jim Comey in this. The only reason we've spoken out about all of this is our genuine concerns about this president and this presidency and who is assaulting values and institutions and standards of this country, which collectively we've spent decades defending.
As for the beautiful letter that I wrote to then President-elect Trump, it was a note that accompanied the first presidential daily briefing he received after he became president-elect. One of the things that I made a point of in that letter was to join him or ask him to abide by, support and protect the principle of truth to power, Which Dan Coats, to his great credit, is doing. And so, anyway, I'll stop there if you have more questions.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: I do. General Clapper, he's basically accusing and John Brennan and General Hayden and others of plotting against him during the campaign, while he was running for president, trying to undermine him. I mean, this is the president of the United States making an accusation like that.
CLAPPER: This is an absurd allegation and there's no basis in facts or evidence for that.
Our concern -- and now I'm speaking specifically for Jim Comey and John Brennan and Mike Rogers as well. What's is it that the Russians were doing to interfere in our political processes?
As I said before, I've seen a lot of bad stuff in my 60+ years in intelligence but nothing that disturbs me as much as this. So it was about the Russians and there was no intent to undermine President-elect and later President Trump. It's an absurd allegation.