Brennan: Pence Must Invoke 25th Amendment To Stop Trump From "Declassifying Some Type Of Information" | Video | RealClearPolitics

Brennan: Pence Must Invoke 25th Amendment To Stop Trump From "Declassifying Some Type Of Information"

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Former CIA Director John Brennan warned yesterday on CNN that Trump is like a "cornered cat" and may lash out before he leaves office.

"The fact...that he has the powers of the presidency in his hands is quite worrisome," Brennan told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

"If Vice President Pence and the cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out because he is just very unpredictable now," he continued. "I'm very concerned what he might do in his remaining 70 days in office. Is he going to take some type of military action? Is he going to release some type of information that could in fact threaten our national security interests?"


After Trump's apparent loss in the election, his supporters, including Donald Trump Jr., suggested the president should "declassify everything" before he leaves office.



"If Vice President Pence and the Cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out, because he is just very unpredictable now."

BRENNAN: They're missing what is a very, very worrisome development. It's clear that Mark Esper was removed as Secretary of Defense because

he rebuffed Donald Trump's efforts to politicize the U.S. Military. And I think it's quite apparent from reporting that Mark Esper has stood up to Donald Trump repeatedly. Who knows what else he has refused to do?

And the Secretary of Defense position is, I think, the most consequential position in the U.S. government aside from the President of the United States because it is the Secretary of Defense who carries out the orders given by a president for military operations.

And if Mark Esper has been pushed aside because he is not listening to Donald Trump, carry out these orders, who knows what his successor, this Acting Secretary, Chris Miller is going to do if Donald Trump does give some type of order that really is counter to, I think, what our national security interests need to be.

CUOMO: One more rebuttal to a shoulder-shrug. "70 days, you know, he'll be gone in 70 days anyway once the Electoral College meets and we have the Inauguration."

[21:50:00]

BRENNAN: 70 days, you can do a lot of damage in 70 days. He still is the President of the United States.

And is he going to carry out these vendettas against other individuals, as you pointed out, Chris Wray or Gina Haspel or others? It is clear that Donald Trump is trying to exercise the power because he can. And he is going to settle scores.

But I'm very concerned what he might do in his remaining 70 days in office. Is he going to take some type of military action? Is he going to release some type of information that could in fact threaten our national security interests?

So, I think people need to be looking very carefully at what he's doing. And unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to give Donald Trump a pass.

CUOMO: All right, so this is the key question. What can be done? Short of him messing with the Electoral College, and trying to have Republican or friendlies pick their own electors, and go grand scale with faithless electors, what can be done to stop anything he wants to do in the next 70 days?

BRENNAN: Well, if Vice President Pence and the Cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out, because he is just very unpredictable now. He's like a cornered cat - tiger. And he is going to lash out.

And the fact that again that he has the powers of the Presidency in his hands is quite worrisome. Now, we know that Attorney General Barr has done Donald Trump's bidding in the past. Will he continue to do that vis-a-vis this election? I don't know. But I do think it's something that the Members of Congress, the leadership of the Republican Party really needs to send clear signals to Donald Trump that if he goes - continues to go along this path they are going to put up road blocks.

CUOMO: What do you make of the Attorney General saying that his investigators before the Electoral College will look at substantial allegations of voting irregularities? As you and I both know, irregularities is not a legal standard or any kind of criminal rubric. But what do you make of that?

BRENNAN: Well, I think it's an unprecedented move.

And again, since William Barr has shown that he is willing to be Donald Trump's personal defense lawyer, as opposed to the Attorney General of the United States, I am concerned that he's going to be looking at this in a very one-sided manner.

And so, I think this is something that hopefully the state attorney generals and others are going to stand fast and also the Department of Justice professional - professionals are going to carry out their duties irrespective of whatever type of political winds they feel are blowing their way.


Former CIA Director John Brennan told MSNBC on Tuesday that he has full confidence in current CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Chris Wray to keep the agency and bureau out of partisan politics, but warns they may be on Trump's "target list."

"I encourage them to continue to hold fast and hold strong and not give in to any directives that the president might, Donald Trump might, issue that would impact our national security," he said.



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