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john Brennan
john Brennan

Former CIA Director John Brennan said that he didn’t mean President Trump had committed treason when he called Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin “nothing short of treason.”

Brennan clarified the comment during an interview Friday, after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said Brennan said the press conference “rose to treason.”

The former CIA director disputed the characterization of his tweet, saying that he felt compelled to make the comment after Trump sided with Putin’s denials of Russian election interference.

“And for Mr. Trump to so cavalierly so dismiss that, yes, sometimes my Irish comes out and in my tweets,” Brennan said. “And I did say that it rises to and exceeds the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and nothing short of treasonous, because he had the opportunity there to be able to say to the world that this is something that happened.”

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“And that’s why I said it was nothing short of treasonous. I didn’t mean that he committed treason. But it was a term that I used, nothing short of treasonous,” he said.

Maddow then pressed Brennan on his use of the term, noting that saying “nothing short of treasonous means it’s treason.”

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