RNA - In an interview on Friday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Brennan referred to Trump's shakeup in the intelligence community as a "virtual decapitation."
"We are now in a full-blown national security crisis," Brennan said. "By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow's interests, not America's."
"Two nonpartisan national security professionals have been removed at the helm of the intelligence community: Joe Maguire and then Andrew Hallman," he added. "That is a virtual decapitation of the intelligence community."
Brennan’s comments follow reports that Trump had deliberately interfered in the work of the intelligence community by attempting to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress and by removing key figures from their leadership roles and replacing them with loyalists.
Trump on Wednesday removed Joseph Maguire as acting Director of National Intelligence and replaced him with the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, immediately drawing criticism for picking an unusually undiplomatic ambassador with little intelligence experience to lead America’s spy agencies.
Brennan expressed his concern at the removal of Maguire and his deputy, Andrew Holman, a senior CIA officer. Brennan and numerous intelligence experts describe Grenell as someone with no experience or credentials when it comes to intelligence.
Dan Coats was Trump’s last full-time spy chief, but he resigned last July over disagreements with the president that became public over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
The appointment of Grenell, an outspoken Trump loyalist, is a continuing effort by Trump to wield personal control over the spy agencies, according to multiple US reports.