John Brennan, who served as CIA director during the Obama administration, flip flopped over the weekend about his remarks that President Donald Trump committed treason.
Brennan accused Trump of treason in July after the president held a press conference with Russian President Vladamir Putin and refused to confront Putin on Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
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"Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors." It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???" Brennan tweeted.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of "high crimes & misdemeanors." It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
On Friday night, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow asked Brennan about his "treason" remark.
"After Helsinki, you were stark and scary of your criticism of his behavior. You said it was nothing short of treason," Maddow said.
Brennan said his "Irish" comes out in his tweets, appearing to suggest that was the reason why he said Trump committed treason.
"I said it was nothing short of treasonous," Brennan said.
"To me, this was an attack against the foundational principle of our great republic," he said, "which is the right all of Americans to chose their elective leaders. For Mr. Trump to so cavalierly dismiss that, yes, sometimes, my Irish comes out. And in my tweets, I did say that it rises to exceeds the level nothing short of treasonous."
Brennan added, "I didn't mean that he committed treason, but it was a term, something short of treasonous."
Two days later on Sunday, Brennan doubled down on his claim that Trump committed treason on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"Do you regret essentially accusing the president of treason?" Chuck Todd asked.
"I called his behavior treasonous which is to betray one's trust and to aid and abide the enemy. And I stand very much by that claim of his actions," Brennan responded.
"The former CIA director accusing the sitting president of the United States of treason, that's a monumental accusation," Todd said.
"Well, I think these are abnormal times and I think a lot of people have spoken out against what Mr. Trump has done and maybe it's my warning, training as an intelligence professional. I have seen the lights blinking red in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is doing and is bringing this country down on the global stage and fueling and feeding divisiveness in our country," Brennan said. "I don't believe I'm being political at all. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat."
Brennan admitted that he voted for a communist presidential candidate in the 1976 election.