Brennan on Shutdown: ‘Trump Has Been Reaching into the Authoritarian’s Toolbox’

Friday on MSNBC’s “Deadline,” former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan said President Donald Trump lacked the “gene of empathy.”

He went on to reference the government shutdown and say that it did not bother him.

Brennan said, “I think Donald Trump has been reaching into the authoritarian’s toolbox for quite some time in terms of delegitimizing the press, undermining the institutions of government, trying to corrupt and control the institutions of law enforcement and intelligence. So his opting for this right now I think is just very typical of him. And he’s again fabricating—that leads to real crises, crisis of confidence in the government, crisis of confidence among federal workers. The fact 40 percent of the federal civil workforce is now furloughed, some of them working without pay, but many are not working at all. And how much lost productivity is there? And all of those contracts and other people.”

He added, “So this is something I think Donald Trump really does not—I think he comprehends it but doesn’t care, because he lacks that gene of empathy. He only does things that are going to benefit himself. I think that’s been his way not just since he was inaugurated, and long before that. The fact, so many Americans are going to suffer as a result of this, I don’t think it bothers him. He’s just looking at which way the political winds blow, which is what authoritarian leaders do.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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