Former CIA Director John Brennan blasted President Donald Trump on Saturday after he tweeted about the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, calling the President “a disgraced demagogue.”
“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you,” Brennan, who was CIA head under President Barack Obama, tweeted.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on Friday, just days before he was set to receive his pension after rising through the ranks and eventually becoming the No. 2 at the bureau.
Trump tweeted in the wee hours Saturday morning about the firing, saying the axing made it “a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI.”
“Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI - A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!” he wrote.
The President’s tweet was followed Saturday morning by his personal lawyer John Dowd’s comments that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election meddling should be brought to a close.
Following Dowd’s remarks, Sen. Patrick Leahy again demanded Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley hold a hearing on what he called the politicization of the Justice Department.
“In the last few hours the President’s personal attorney has called for the Justice Department, without even an arguably legitimate basis, to prematurely shut down the special counsel’s Russia investigation,” the Vermont Democrat said in a statement. “And the attorney general, in a clear violation of his promised recusal under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee, fired a career civil servant days before he could retire, following months of the President’s relentless and outrageous prodding.”
Leahy later added: “I believe the Judiciary Committee will fail to fulfill its core oversight responsibility if it does nothing in this moment.”
Leahy sent a letter to Grassley in late January asking the Iowa senator to hold a hearing on the attacks on FBI and its leaders, writing: “Never before have I been more concerned for the institutions we rely on to maintain our government’s integrity than I am today.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to Dowd’s remarks with a statement Saturday.
“Mr. Dowd’s comments are yet another indication that the first instinct of the President and his legal team is not to cooperate with special counsel Mueller, but to undermine him at every turn,” the New York Democrat said in the statement.
“The President, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with, or end the special counsel’s investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans.”
Sen. Mark Warner, the vice chairman on the Senate Intelligence Committee, also responded to the news with a tweet.
“Every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, needs to speak up in defense of the Special Counsel. Now,” the Virginia Democrat posted.
Warner’s Virginia colleague, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, also tweeted a warning about Dowd’s remarks.
“Robert Mueller must be allowed to see this investigation through to its conclusion. Period. Full stop,” Kaine wrote.
“We in Congress will not stand idle if he is fired, and threats like this need to stop.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe reacted to Trump with a series of tweets Saturday afternoon in which he also called on Congress to protect Mueller’s Russia probe.
“Delusional Donald at it again,” McAuliffe wrote. “With all of the chaos at the WH someone forgot to put the safety lock on the play pen when they left for the weekend.”
“PS-Some advice: change the channel from Fox News to basketball and stop putting yourself in even more legal jeopardy,” he tweeted.