Former U.S. Intelligence Heads Criticize President Trump Over Russia Comments

Reuters/Yuri GripasPresident Donald Trump criticized for being soft on Russia.

United States Presidents Donald J. Trump is being grilled by former intelligence chiefs for his comments regarding the investigations on Russia's influence in last year's presidential elections.

James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, said on CNN's "State of the Union" last Sunday that the U.S. President is putting the country's national security at risk by not properly addressing Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.

Clapper said that Trump's statement was giving countries like Russia and China a free pass to control him. John Brennan, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director, added that Trump is letting Russia get away with their interference in the elections.

"The threat posed by Russia, as John just said, is manifest and obvious. To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country," Clapper added.

Brennan also said that Trump has been swayed by Russian President Vladimir Putin with flattery and that he might be, in a way, "intimidated" by him" for letting Russia get away.

"It's either naiveté, ignorance or fear in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-a-vis the Russians," Brennan added.

The turmoil began when President Trump backtracked his statements regarding Russia's involvement in last year's presidential elections in the United States, by saying that he believes Putin when he claims that they did not interfere.

"I believe that he feels that he and Russia did not meddle in the election," Trump announced at a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, with President Tran Dai Quang, ABC reports.

However, Trump did clarify that his belief in the matter lies with the country's intelligence agencies.

After clarifying his position on the issue, President Trump urged his countrymen to build towards a relationship with Russia, starting it off by absolving made against Putin's country for allegedly meddling in last year's elections.

Russia is not happy with these sanctions, and they have expressed the U.S.' non-cooperation with their efforts in trying to have better communication between them and President Trump.