Ex-CIA Director John Brennan castigated House Judiciary Committee GOP leaders Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Trey Gowdy of South Carolina for taking "cheap shots" at FBI agent Peter Strzok during his Capitol Hill testimony Thursday.
The pair sparred with Strzok about his controversial text messages with girlfriend and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, suggesting Strzok's negative view of President Donald Trump tainted his work at the agency.
Brennan, in remarks on MSNBC afterward, was livid, calling the exchange "a mockery of the oversight function and responsibility that is supposed to be a bipartisan effort to try to make sure we keep this country strong and safe."
"Vladimir Putin must be very happy, as well as Russian intelligence services, because of the discord . . . in the halls of Congress," Brennan said. "I think chairman Goodlatte and chairman Gowdy demonstrated they are more interested in protecting Mr. Trump and preventing the continued investigation from moving forward.
"And taking these cheap shots, that's what I call them, cheap shots at Strzok just were unconscionable. That's why I think Putin and other Russian officials are very happy with what has been happening here in the States."
Brennan also bemoaned the "grandstanding and politicking" in Congress "at the expense of our national security."
"I think over the course of my government career, I saw both sides of the aisle get involved in partisan politics when it came to intelligence in national security matters," he said. "Unfortunately, we have reached a new low in terms of how the members of Congress on the Republican side are doing everything possible to support and defend and make excuses for some of the activities that are being uncovered . . . as the investigation goes forward.
"So, I do think it has a very detrimental impact on our national security. I think it's something all Americans should be concerned about."
"How it's going to come to an end, I don't know," he added. "But unfortunately this polarization is being fostered by Mr. Trump in terms of the types of things he says and what he tweets. This needs to stop because it is having a damaging impact on our national security.
A video of his remarks was posted by Mediaite.
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