Politics

Former Intel Leaders Should ‘Keep Their Mouths Shut,’ FBI Veteran Warns

Past CIA Director John Brennan's extreme attacks and accusations against the president prompt call for new application of Hatch Act

Image Credit: Olivier Douliery - Pool/Getty Images

Retired FBI Special Agent Bobby Chacon called Friday for new rules to bar former senior intelligence community officials from using their past positions to politicize current public policy debates.

“It’s irresponsible, and it actually damages the Republic,” Chacon told Fox News guest host Jason Chaffetz on “The Ingraham Angle.” “I would be in favor of certain senior-level policy officials’ being barred from doing this kind of political rhetoric. We have the Hatch Act, which is enforceable against government employees.

“But once you leave the government, there should be some enforceable mechanism that these guys can’t go out, these senior policy guys, who had access to all this information, and then go on these tweet storms and pretty much, some of them have lost their mind in their anger and rhetoric against the current president.”

Related: Coats Wishes Trump Hadn’t Appeared to Side with Putin

There have been multiple examples this week of former intelligence community higher-ups accusing Trump of the most extreme crime, treason, simply because the chief executive misspoke his view of U.S. intelligence during Monday’s news conference with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

Former acting CIA Director John Brennan has repeatedly blasted Trump since Monday, accusing him of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” part of the constitutional standard for impeachment, and also of allegedly committing treason in supporting Putin.

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Similarly, former acting CIA Director John McLaughlin claimed “the United States was attacked, and the president sided with the enemy in his Helsinki remarks. That would not happen in any other administration, and it shows that the president was not prepared for the Helsinki summit.”

McLaughlin was interviewed by Brian Williams on MSNBC.

Related: Jim Comey Is Urging America to Vote Democrat 

“I think you can’t separate that rhetoric from some of the things they knew and learned with their security clearance at their prior jobs,” Chacon said. “So I think there has to be some kind of cooling off period where these guys have to keep their mouths shut, go home, sit on their hands and watch the government function. Because right now, they’re interfering with the function of our government as former senior policy executives.”

Trump followed his Monday comments on Tuesday with a clarification that he actually intended to say that he agrees with the intelligence community assessment, but he has continued to face fierce backlash.

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