President Donald Trump has the authority to release classified documents from the investigation into whether his campaign conspired with the Russian government, former CIA Director John Brennan said Tuesday, but the question is whether it was the ethical thing for him to do.
"It is highly inappropriate and unethical for Mr. Trump to take any action that pertains to the criminal investigation of Russian collusion," Brennan, now the senior national security analyst for NBC News, told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. "To basically order the Department of Justice and the FBI to release this information, even that which is redacted earlier, it is really just pushing this envelope."
Brennan said he thinks the action is causing concern among law enforcement and intelligence officials, as Trump is "trying to continue to find ways to get himself out of the mess that he is currently in."
Further, he told Mitchell that he believes FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should push back from directives that have a "negative impact" on the investigation.
The former CIA director also said he thinks Russia's intelligence services are waiting to see what will be released, as well as others wanting information about the FBI's collection capabilities.
"This is something I am hoping that individuals of conscience are going to stop and prevent, because I am concerned this is one indication that Mr. Trump is increasingly looking for steps to take in order to further try to subvert the Mueller investigation," said Brennan.
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