Former national intelligence director James R. Clapper, while appearing on the same C.N.N. segment, agreed with Brennan about Trump. "And to impugn Jim Clapper on Veterans Day, who has dedicated so much of his life to this country, I just find that outrageous, and I think it's something Mr. Trump should be ashamed of, but it doesn't seem as though in anything he does he feels any shame whatsoever". He noted that contrary to what Trump insinuated, the assessment was not compiled by Comey, Clapper nor Brennan. "Those were the most ridiculous statements", Mnuchin said.
"President Trump is not getting played by anybody", Mnuchin said later on CNN.
Trump has sought to confute the US intelligence community's conclusions that Russian Federation, under Putin's specific orders, meddled in the 2016 United States Presidential Election to favor Trump and discredit the Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton. "He said he didn't meddle, he said he didn't meddle".
Clapper concurred, saying, "I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him".
Trump told reporters as he flew from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam that he's done confronting Putin over the issue and took him at his word that Russian Federation did not seek to interfere in the election. I mean, give me a break.
Trump spoke to Putin three times on the sidelines of summit here, where the Russian Federation meddling issue arose. On July 7, the two men had a one-on-one meeting at the G20, a gathering of the world's top 20 economies.
The CIA confirms allegations of Russia's interference in U.S. presidential elections previous year.
After receiving backlash, Trump said he believes the intelligence agencies.
But on Sunday, after a pugnacious tweetstorm and before the Brennan-Clapper appearance, Trump sort of walked his comments back.
"It's puzzling as to why Mr. Trump does not acknowledge that and embrace it, and also push back hard against Mr. Putin", Brennan said. "As to whether I believe it or not, I'm with our agencies, especially as now constituted, with their leadership".
The CIA and other USA intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
"I don't know why the ambiguity about this, because the threat posed by Russian Federation, as John just said, is manifest and obvious and has been for a long time", said Clapper. "Putin is committed to undermining our system, our democracy and our whole process". "And to try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding and, in fact, poses a peril to this country".
To make things worse, Trump also stated that he believed Putin was honest when denying all allegations to the effect that he had orchestrated the Russian interference. "But he says, 'I didn't do that.' I think he is very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Vietnam.
Trump's campaign is now being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is looking at whether any members of the campaign, including the president himself, colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor.