If true, should that disqualify the sanctimonious Republican from the ballot for a U.S. Senate seat on December 12?
Former CIA director John Brennan, appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union", said Trump was deriding them in an attempt to "delegitimize" the intelligence community's assessment. We know this because Mr. Trump actually used the words, "political hacks", to describe the two veteran intelligence officials (as well as former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey), who believe Mr. Trump is getting played by Mr. Putin like composer Igor Stravinsky seated at the piano - masterfully.
REPORTER: Do you believe him?
TAPPER: "Um, that's not a "No" or a 'Yes'". Which is a very interesting statement.
In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Brennan said he thinks that fear played into Trump's behavior towards Russian Federation, calling him "intimidated" by Putin. He also called former FBI Director James Comey a "liar" and a "leaker".
"But if they meddled in the election, then he is not necessarily the president of the United States, because it's tainted".
These things are being investigated by three congressional committees and special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump, in contrast, said he believes Putin and that it is time for us to go forward.
Trump spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an economic summit in Vietnam, and a familiar narrative played out.
"Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old, ' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!"
Such a photograph would have been many times more valuable journalistically than the awkward souvenir photos where the leaders strain to link arms in an obligatory show of solidarity. Trump told reporters, 'He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. On Twitter, Trump referred to those opposing his Russian Federation outreach as "haters and fools".
Trump has since tried to distance himself from the news.
Far from denouncing Putin's continuous assaults on human rights and free speech in Russia, Trump has praised him as being a better leader than Obama.
"If Donald Trump is under investigation and his administration and people around him, the Russian Federation collusion and whole Mueller investigation, right..." I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.
"Considering the source of that criticism, I consider that criticism a badge of honor", Brennan said.
"I found it particularly reprehensible that on Veterans Day Donald Trump would attack and impugn the integrity and the character of Jim Clapper, who served in uniform for 35 years", said the ex-CIA chief. Clapper fought in the war in Vietnam; Trump got several draft deferments.
"He said he didn't meddle", Trump said. "But it doesn't seem as though anything he does he feels any shame whatsoever".
Finally, try to imagine if a Democratic president had openly sided with a Russian president over the USA intelligence community.
Even as Moscow slams the United States as a regional provocateur, some prominent Russian experts on Korea, such as Georgy Toloraya, dismiss fears that the U.S.is planning military action as hype. And there shouldn't be any illusions or any ambiguity about that.
Brennan said Trump's failure to confront Putin amounts to "giving Putin a pass". Why isn't he willing to stand up to Mr. Putin?
Trump's visits to Beijing, Seoul, and Tokyo focused by-and-large on two major issues: North Korea and trade.
Ironically, Trump's "America First" vision is floundering in the country where the "great again" political slogan was invented and first used successfully.
I think there are two potential explanations.