Trump Criticizes John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey over Iran Image

Comey, Clapper, Brennan
Riccardo Savi/Sipa/AP

President Donald Trump criticized former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former FBI Director James Comey in a tweet about an image of a failed Iranian rocket launch.

On Friday, Trump tweeted an image of a destroyed rockets at an Iranian launch site:

The image was of far higher quality and resolution than one published earlier by National Public Radio, which broke the story on Thursday using a more distant image of the site that was available commercially.

Trump’s image suggested that it was not taken by a satellite, but by a spy aircraft or drone. At least one critic called the tweet “reckless” because it hinted at U.S. spy capabilities and methods.

However, others described the tweet as a brilliant yet subtle threat to Iran, indicating that the U.S. has the ability to monitor everything it does and destroy Iranian rockets and missiles at will. The president is the country’s chief classification authority and has the authority to declassify such images if he wants.

After facing critical questions from reporters on Friday, Trump tweeted on Saturday:

As The Hill noted, it was not clear if any of those former intelligence and law enforcement chiefs, all of whom were appointed during the Obama administration, had said anything about the Iran image.

All, however, were involved in the effort to find evidence of Russian “collusion” with the Trump campaign, which has continued to unravel after the publication of a report by the Department of Justice inspector general last week that concluded Comey had violated Federal Bureau of Investigation rules and procedures.

All have also been harsh critics of Trump since he won in 2016, with Brennan accusing Trump of “treasonous” behavior.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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