Former CIA Director John Brennan speculated Sunday that President Trump is “intimidated” or “afraid” of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Brennan also dodged a question about whether he has seen evidence that the Russian government has compromising material on Trump.
The existence of Russian “kompromat” on Trump has been the subject of intense debate ever since the publication of the infamous Steele dossier earlier this year.
“I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, or afraid of what he could do or what might come out as a result of these investigations. So, it’s very worrisome,” Brennan told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“It’s either naivete, ignorance or fear, in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-a-vis the Russians.”
Brennan appeared alongside James Clapper, the former director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, to discuss Trump’s Saturday remarks about whether Russia meddled in the presidential campaign.
Trump initially said that he believes Putin when he says that he did not interfere in the election. Trump later cleaned up the comment, saying that he believes the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that the Russian government was behind hacks of Democrats’ emails.
Tapper followed up with Brennan later in the interview, zeroing in on the ex-spook’s reference to Trump possibly being afraid of Putin.
“Do you know of any compromising material that the Russians might have on him?” Tapper asked.
“I have shared everything I know with the Intelligence Committees,” said Brennan, who has cooperated with the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in their investigations into Russian interference.
“That’s not a no or a yes, because we’re — we’re not privy to the information that you gave to the Intelligence Committees,” said Tapper.
“That’s true. You’re not,” Brennan replied coyly.
The dossier, which was financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC, alleges that the Russian government has gathered kompromat, or compromising material, on Trump for years.
Trump has denied allegations made about him in the dossier. In an interview with the House Intelligence Committee earlier this week, Trump’s longtime bodyguard, Keith Schiller, denied the dossier’s allegation that Trump used prostitutes during a 2013 trip to Moscow.