Defense

Ex-CIA Director Brennan: Trump ‘score settling’ with Pentagon changes

Former CIA Director John Brennan argued Friday that President Trump was “score settling” with recent personnel changes at the Pentagon.

His comments come amid concerns that the president is trying to fill the Pentagon with loyalists who can help push through controversial executive actions in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency. 

The fears were sparked by the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, and a series of resignations that quickly followed. 

“He wants people to be personally loyal to him,” Brennan said in an interview on CNN. “So therefore the firing of Mark Esper and the decapitating of civilian leadership within the Pentagon, I think clearly is score-settling on the part of Mr. Trump.”

Brennan, a vocal Trump critic, said that it wasn’t clear in his view if the president was trying to politicize the military, or if he’s thinking about doing something that could compromise national security before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

“He still has the power of the presidency in his hands for the next 70 days,” Brennan said. “I’m hoping that people around him are counseling restraint so he does not engage in rash and reckless behavior, which he has unfortunately been known for.”  

Sources reportecly told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday that the White House had apparently focused on pushing out Esper’s undersecretaries after Esper and his team argued against withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller hired a senior adviser who frequently pushed for the immediate removal of troops from Afghanistan. 

Brennan also said that he hopes Trump would not divulge national security secrets once he leaves office, but that it does worry him. 

“I do worry,” he said, “about what Trump might do to enhance his personal, political or financial standing in the future.”

Tags Christopher Miller Donald Trump Jake Tapper Joe Biden John Brennan Mark Esper

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Regular the hill posts

People – Image widget – Person – Main Area Top

File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

QAT WC-2613

People – Image – Person

In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

People - Video Bin - Person

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what does it mean?

The White House is pushing 'Bidenomics,' but what ...
DC Bureau: AI Legal Immunity (raquel)
KXAN: special session
DC Bureau: Biden economic display (basil)
KTXL: ca budget folo
WHTM: good gov bills
More Videos

Main area middle

See all Hill.TV See all Video

main area bottom custom html

MAIN Area bottom

People – Custom HTML – Person

MAIN AREA BOTTOM

People - Article Bin - 7 Headline List with Featured Image - Person

Main area bottom

Top Stories

See All

Most Popular

Load more