Tags: Donald Trump | Trump Administration | jeh johnson | unprepared | judge | donald trump | performance

Jeh Johnson: Not Prepared to Judge Trump's Performance

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

By    |   Friday, 25 August 2017 09:16 AM

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Friday defended his ex-colleague James Clapper as a "good man and a great American," but when it comes to sharing the ex-director of national intelligence's questions about President Donald Trump's fitness, he said he's not prepared to make that judgment.

"I am, obviously, concerned about a number of things this president has said and done, as are a number of people, Republicans and Democrats," Johnson told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I hope that with the new staff, the new chief of staff, we might see some more order in the White House."

Johnson described Chief of Staff John Kelly as a "good friend of mine from the Pentagon," and noted there are a lot of issues to deal with.

"A lot of us are caught up in the politics of this," Johnson said. "It's good for ratings, but it's not very good for the welfare of the country."

Tuesday night, following Trump's rally in Phoenix, Clapper questioned the president's fitness, motives, and his access to the nation's nuclear codes.

His comments led to the president launching a counterattack on Twitter against Clapper, saying:

Johnson pointed out that Clapper had been a political appointee in President George W. Bush's administration and was a holdover to the Obama administration.

"I thought Jim was a great DNI," said Johnson. "He's about as apolitical as they come, so I have high regard for his judgment and assessments."

Johnson further commented that Trump has generated a great deal of criticism through his own statements.

"Charlottesville was a real tragedy," said Johnson. "Charlottesville was an alarming situation, and in that type of situation, we depend upon our president to bring us together, to lower the temperature, not raise the temperature. And so I hope that this president has the ability to learn from episodes like that or at least call upon people were advice about how to deal with complicated situations like Charlottesville."

Johnson said he also thinks it's important for former officials such as himself to make their views known if they have concerns with Trump.

"Those of us who have been in national security, those of us who have been in the situation room, those of us who are familiar with governing with the presidency, I do believe have an obligation if we see something going in the wrong direction to inform Americans about what we know, what we see, what our own experience tells us are the warning spots and the trouble signs, absolutely," said Johnson.

However, where former President Barack Obama is concerned, Johnson said ex-presidents historically give their successors some space.

"I'm sure President Obama feels very strongly about the issues. He has chosen to lend his voice from time to time since January 20th," said Johnson. "I believe he will continue to do so … I'm sure that there are things that President Obama will want to pursue on the national stage, on the world stage that are important to him. And he should, therefore, be careful and selective about when he chooses to inject himself into our politics and into our national conversation. I totally respect that and agree with it."

When asked if the homeland is safe under the Trump administration, Johnson instead said the United States should never become complacent, pointing to the terror attack in Barcelona earlier this month.

"There's no reason to believe that ISIS, ISIS directed or ISIS-inspired attacks have receded or gone away," said Johnson.

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Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Friday defended his ex-colleague James Clapper as a "good man and a great American," but when it comes to sharing the ex-director of national intelligence's questions about President Donald Trump's fitness, he said he's not...
jeh johnson, unprepared, judge, donald trump, performance
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2017-16-25
Friday, 25 August 2017 09:16 AM
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