The CIA and other US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian Federation meddled in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. "And I think it's very naive and perilous to this country to make an assumption that Russian Federation is going to behave with the best interests of the world or the United States in mind".
"I think Mr. Putin is very clever in terms of playing to Mr. Trump's interest in being flattered".
The CIA confirms allegations of Russia's interference in USA presidential elections a year ago. He noted that contrary to what Trump insinuated, the assessment was not compiled by Comey, Clapper nor Brennan.
Since leaving government, Clapper said more information had come out that raises at least "circumstantial questions" about potential connections between Trump's associates and Russian Federation. "I believe that he feels that he and Russian Federation did not meddle in the election", Trump said during a news conference in Vietnam, referring to Putin.
The intelligence community released an unclassified version of its assessment in January, saying Putin ordered the election meddling to hurt Hillary Clinton's candidacy and bolster Trump's successful bid.
"I do believe in my heart that the men and women of the intelligence community will continue to convey truth to power, even if the power ignores the truth", said Clapper.
They also defended each other. "I think he's very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country".
"I don't know why the ambiguity about this", Brennan said.
Trump has long cast doubt on the intelligence community's findings on Russian Federation, and he has pushed back forcefully on its conclusion that the Kremlin mounted the effort specifically to help Trump's campaign and hurt that of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
"POTUS embraces Putin yet again telling world he believes former KGB agent's denial of attack on our election over our own Intel public servants, calling them 'political hacks.' Disturbing and shamelessly unpatriotic, on Veterans Day no less", she tweeted on Saturday following Trump's comments.
But Trump's continued willingness to build closer ties with Russian Federation - especially as Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigates any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the election - is peculiar at best. Trump called Comey a "liar" and a "leaker" and suggested Putin's credibility was stronger than theirs.
"To try to paint it in any other way is astounding and poses a peril", Mr. Clapper told CNN's "State of the Union". "Who responded to the call of his country to go to Vietnam, flew in over 70 combat support missions over Vietnam", Brennan continued".
"And to impugn the character of somebody like Jim Clapper on Veteran's Day, who has dedicated so much of his life to this country, I just find that outrageous", he added. "And I think it demonstrates to Mr. Putin that Donald Trump can be played by foreign leaders who are going to appeal to his ego and to try to play upon his insecurities, which is very, very worrisome from a national security standpoint".