Tags: Donald Trump | NSA/Surveillance | wiretapping | investigation | Twitter | Leon Panetta

Panetta: Trump's 'Dangerous Games' Weaken Presidency

CNN's "The Situation Room"

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 07:54 PM

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said President Donald Trump's "dangerous games" — like accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his Trump Tower telephones during the campaign — "weakens the office of the presidency."

"No such wiretap took place," Panetta, who also served as CIA director under Obama, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "The Situation Room." "There is no evidence to support what the president has alleged.

"This is the president of the United States, and he has a responsibility to speak the truth to the American people," he added. "When he engages in these kind of tweets and throws out these kinds of allegations, he weakens the office of the presidency."

Panetta said Trump's attack stemmed from the White House being in a "bunker mentality" in light of the Russian allegations.

He "is now tweeting out anything he wants to say in an effort to try to divert attention from their concern about what's happening on the investigation on the Russian situation.

"President Trump has to understand he is now president of the United States," Panetta continued. "He's not the head of 'The Apprentice' show. He's not a TV personality.

"He doesn't have the convenience of basically saying whatever he wants to the American people and to the world without substantiating that there is any kind of truth to what he's saying.

"He can't do that as president of the United States without damaging the office of the presidency and without damaging our country."

Panetta added reports of a huge cache of purportedly hacked CIA documents published Tuesday by WikiLeaks threatened America's national security.

"It is extremely worrisome that this kind of very sensitive information is just being thrown out there by WikiLeaks," he told Blitzer. "As a consequence, it is making it that much more difficult for our intelligence agencies to be able to do their job."

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Politics
Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said President Donald Trump's "dangerous games" — like accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his Trump Tower telephones during the campaign — "weakens the office of the presidency."
wiretapping, investigation, Twitter, Leon Panetta
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2017-54-07
Tuesday, 07 Mar 2017 07:54 PM
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